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Mark n

cooking fish sous vide, chilling and then reheating and finishing

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Hi, I am curious about cooking fish, particularly white fillets sous vide, chilling and then finishing and reheating at service.  I constantly have the problem of keeping fish as some days I wont sell any and then have a rush. either the product goes off, or I run out.

Would love to hear if this is a good process. I have seen fish served in functions with the use of regen ovens and am thinking that sous videing the fish under done and then finishing in a pan and oven.

 

Thanks Mark

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7 hours ago, Mark n said:

Hi, I am curious about cooking fish, particularly white fillets sous vide, chilling and then finishing and reheating at service.  I constantly have the problem of keeping fish as some days I wont sell any and then have a rush. either the product goes off, or I run out.

Would love to hear if this is a good process. I have seen fish served in functions with the use of regen ovens and am thinking that sous videing the fish under done and then finishing in a pan and oven.

 

Thanks Mark

 

Interesting question.

I guess it hinges on whether the cooking temp and time would pasteurize the fish to allow for longer storage.

 

I also don't know what part of fish spoilage is due to non-microbial processes eg autolytic enzymes.

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Fish cooks at temps too low to pasteurize for extended storage. Especially if you're looking to undercook them SV and finish them in a pan/oven.

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Posted (edited)

@Mark n Baldwin has these fish pasteurization temps. Its table 3.1 in the link...or just click on 'fish pasteurization " in the table of contents. He directly addresses cook/chill of fish in the table

https://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Table_3.1 

 

I agree with @btbyrd , I think you'll end up over cooking the fish.  If its salmon, for example, much over 130F starts to get dry.


Edited by gfweb (log)

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The OP could try running a test to see if his white fish pasteurized at 130F and chilled yields an acceptable product. You can thermally hammer some white fish and have it still be appealing to many customers, which is not the case with, say, salmon or tuna.

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I can verify that pasteurized tuna is not appealing in the least.

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So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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2 hours ago, Joe Blowe said:

I can verify that pasteurized tuna is not appealing in the least.

 

Depends how many days you are into lockdown.

 

Though for fish I think freezing is a better way to go.

 

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In actual fact our supermarket chains sell "chilled fish". This is fish that has been frozen and then thawed to be sold. Its is marketed as "chilled fresh fish" and most people don't know the difference.

Being a fisherman, I generally freeze all the fish I catch. I portion it and vacuum seal it. When it thaws, it is as good as fresh.

 

A few things to note.

I was a tuna fisherman for the Japanese sashimi market so I learned about treating fish correctly.

I put all fish I catch in a tank of seawater to bleed (cut the gills). After 5~10 minutes put them on Ice. The preferred way to do it is bleed them in an ice slurry. They are cleaned/filleted when they are thoroughly chilled.

(with tuna, you bleed using 3 particular cuts, one each side or the front fins and one near the tail, (do a google search)   it is necessary to "kill" the spinal nerves by removing the brain and feeding something (600lb nylon line) down the spinal column)

Now I know you are wanting to deal with excess fish in an attempt to keep it for market.

 

Perhaps you could investigate freezing in portion sizes and selling it frozen (depends on your customers). BUT you will have to do it as soon as you know it is excess to requirements.

Consider cooking the fish is flavored ( chilli ) olive oil in the SV and leave it bagged to be consumed or sold later. It wont be "fresh" fish but ti will not be wasted either.

I don't think cooking fish on their own in SV is going to be successful.

Fish if treated properly (bled & iced when first caught) should have a shelf life of up to 10 days if kept chilled (and dry). That 10 days is reduced by about a day with every hour that passes between catch & chilling.

The display cabinet needs to be enclosed so the air inside is cold. Ideally the fish should be on a well drained bed of ice (skin side down or use baking paper) within a display cabinet. Sorry I am not trying to tell you how to suck eggs, but a lot of the fish retailers here have poor quality fish because the fish deteriorates from not being treated correctly. The ice within the cabinet ensures the air in there is moist so the fish wont dry out.

If the fish are line caught as apposed to trawler or net caught they will usually be alive when boated. Trawler & net caught fish are usually dead when boated and may have been dead for several hours before being boated.

 

Some of the Japanese coastal fisherman can keep sashimi quality tuna on Ice for up to 30 days.

 

 

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I'd be inclined to try flash-chilling by plunging into ice water right after cooking sous-vide. How you reheat for service would depend on how thick the fillets are. I think all your technical challenges will be in the reheating.

 

If the fillets are thin, you could throw right back into a water bath. Or if you're searing them (I'm guessing you're not) the searing itself might be all it takes. But if they're thick, it will be be more time consuming to reheat them by any method, and more challenging to do so without overcooking / drying them out.


Notes from the underbelly

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40 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

I'd be inclined to try flash-chilling by plunging into ice water right after cooking sous-vide. How you reheat for service would depend on how thick the fillets are. I think all your technical challenges will be in the reheating.

 

If the fillets are thin, you could throw right back into a water bath. Or if you're searing them (I'm guessing you're not) the searing itself might be all it takes. But if they're thick, it will be be more time consuming to reheat them by any method, and more challenging to do so without overcooking / drying them out.

 

Then again there is always blast chilling.

 

Though for fish I've been blast freezing and postponing how to cook and serve till later.  With a blast chiller I can reserve my 13 quart Vollrath bowl for laundry.  Saves ice cubes for my mai tai too.

 

I still can't get my head around how fish cooked sous vide reheated for service would help either at home or in a restaurant.  Chicken or steak is an entirely different story.

 

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