Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Fish and other seafood


Adam Balic
 Share

Recommended Posts

You know, when I think of all the garbage and germs and street meats and dirty water dogs etc. etc. I’ve eaten over the years, if I kill my self via botulism via not defrosting wild Alaskan salmon properly, I’m gonna be pissed off.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 7

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I should add, I made many salads and sides last Friday night for a Saturday BBQ. Weather permitting. Saturday was predicted gorgeous. The teenage son woke up not feeling well. Cancelled. (tested twice since and negative). Good quality flash frozen product can remain that way if plans change. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still baffled by the 'poke a hole' to avoid botulism. I understand the spores are eradicated by air/oxygen. If I poke a couple holes in the top side, the frozen underside is still solid connected to the cryovacked package. No oxygen while it thaws. I should add that I always remove  my proteins from the packages to thaw with a marinade or dry rub in the fridge. But would it not be similar to chicken, holiday turkeys thawed in their thick air-removed plastics? Is it just fish?...what about shrimp and scallops. I've had shrimp and scallops come cryovacked but mostly loose. 

FDA, CDC, WHO, do not mention anything about sealed packages---just temperature. (don't quote me...I have searched in the past but may have missed it). They say best to thaw in fridge under 38º. If I need to speed up a thaw, I take it out, season, and into a zip-lock into a cold water bath in the fridge. Takes an hour. Might sit 10-15 in my sink while prepping. I sometimes take a fillet out in the morning. In the package, no holes poked. When I open it for dinner and dry rub or marinate later...6-10 hours, it is still partially frozen but pliable. At that moment it hits oxygen. Does not that moment kill the spores? 

BristolBay says to cut a corner and set in water for a quicker thaw with the cut corner out of the water bath to not allow water into the bag...link, HERE

I suppose I have a toddler curiosity. Don't just tell me what to do,...tell me 'why' I'm doing it. Botulism is rare and mostly in home canning with lack of acids, etc. 

Millions of people thaw fish every day in the package. 

I have a one hour rule about food out. Chill quickly in ice baths or sitting on an ice pack in the sink. Like stocks..ice chilled. Fridge overnight in containers, uncovered, then into the freezer. Sealed and labeled. 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Annie_H Poking a hole does not kill the spore it just keeps it from growing and making toxin. Low temperature also keeps the spores from growing whether conditions are aerobic or not. That's why thawing temp is an issue.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, gfweb said:

@Annie_H Poking a hole does not kill the spore it just keeps it from growing and making toxin. Low temperature also keeps the spores from growing whether conditions are aerobic or not. That's why thawing temp is an issue.

Yes. But I found what I was looking for and multiple times including a pod cast. 

I was looking for details and temps. 

 

"...The majority of cases of foodborne botulism are caused by two bacteria known as non-proteolytic C. botulinum and proteolytic C. botulinum. A major difference between these two bacteria is that non-proteolytic C. botulinum is able to grow and produce toxin at 3°C, whilst proteolytic C. botulinum will not grow at temperatures less than 12°C. This ability to grow at form toxin at refrigeration temperatures makes non-proteolytic C. botulinum a major hazard in minimally heated refrigerated foods, such as chilled ready meals..." LINK

 

3ºC is 37.4ºF 

I took out two salmon fillets last night at 10pm. 8am the temps are 25º and 28º (the one on top of the other is 28º)

Two small thick steaks are still frozen. Merquez is 26º

I'm usually fine with a 'better safe than sorry' scenario but wanted details. My fridge holds 36º consistently and no cold spots that freeze produce. No pre-teens standing with the door open. I usually take it out a.m. but we are having an early afternoon BBQ. 

Many families are unaware of their fridge temp zones. Purchase thawed proteins for the week that then sit in an unhealthy temp zone. Run multiple errands on a hot day with groceries in the car. Put hot leftover soup in the fridge...

 

Just wanted the food safety skinny, that's all. It is about 50/50 'how to thaw fish' via suppliers. Y-tube, etc. 

What works best for us weeknights is to thaw the quick method just before cooking. Plans change so often during a work week. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My experiments with Wild Alaskan salmon continue. Somewhere uptopic it's been mentioned that wild salmon is much less fatty than farmed salmon. My husband claims now that he has always thought salmon was a dry fish. This surprises me because I've always found salmon to be much more flavorful, and generally more fatty, than the white fish we get (cod, halibut, tilapia, pollack) in frozen packages. I have not always bought farmed salmon; when the Copper River salmon is running it can be purchased in Duluth.

 

Still.  I have to admit that this salmon from Wild Alaskan is leaner than I'm used to. I love salmon pretty much any way; my husband is less than enthusiastic. His favorite treatment so far has been pecan-crusted salmon with sorrel sauce. There is no sorrel in our yard or house, but we have basil. There may be pecans, but after unearthing 2 packages of ham bones (pea stew tonight!) while looking for them in the freezer, I settled for walnuts. 

 

The treatment: grind the walnuts finely; dip the salmon in beaten egg and then dredge in the walnuts; shallow fry in butter because it was that or EVOO and I'm running short on oil. Add a green sauce of basil, garlic and EVOO. At table, pour the remaining butter - now nicely browned - over the fish and over the corn we had on the side.

 

20211009_192804.jpg

 

The flavor was good. It seems rather perverse to slather "heart healthy" fish with butter, but there it is. What wasn't so great was that the fish flesh was still a bit overcooked and/or dry.

 

20211010_082827.jpg

 

I think it would have been better with a slightly shorter cooking time. He thinks it's the nature of the beast. Next time, I'll try someone's earlier suggestion of using steam bake* in the Cuisinart Steam Oven. I may like the texture better that way. He'll be sorry it doesn't have a nice crust. 

 

*What time and temperature should I use? Anyone remember?

  • Like 3
  • Delicious 2

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Smithy I do salmon in the CSO at around 300 steam for about 12 min...until 115 internal temp.  Rest 5 min.  Definitely not "well done". No crustification.

 

Salting the salmon for 20 min pre cook keeps it from weeping albumin.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, gfweb said:

@Smithy I do salmon in the CSO at around 300 steam for about 12 min...until 115 internal temp.  Rest 5 min.  Definitely not "well done". No crustification.

 

Salting the salmon for 20 min pre cook keeps it from weeping albumin.

With lean salmon I also prefer gentle heat like a light poach or steam in a well flavored broth . Soy sauce as the salt works for me. I might do an herbal dipping sauce on the side like green goddess.  When my friend used to fish Copper River adjacent which was much richer I'd do a glaze and bake. @Smithy's crusted and sauced prep probably flavorful but to me - bit much for that fish.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Smithy said:

My experiments with Wild Alaskan salmon continue. Somewhere uptopic it's been mentioned that wild salmon is much less fatty than farmed salmon. My husband claims now that he has always thought salmon was a dry fish. This surprises me because I've always found salmon to be much more flavorful, and generally more fatty, than the white fish we get (cod, halibut, tilapia, pollack) in frozen packages. I have not always bought farmed salmon; when the Copper River salmon is running it can be purchased in Duluth.

 

Still.  I have to admit that this salmon from Wild Alaskan is leaner than I'm used to. I love salmon pretty much any way; my husband is less than enthusiastic. His favorite treatment so far has been pecan-crusted salmon with sorrel sauce. There is no sorrel in our yard or house, but we have basil. There may be pecans, but after unearthing 2 packages of ham bones (pea stew tonight!) while looking for them in the freezer, I settled for walnuts. 

 

The treatment: grind the walnuts finely; dip the salmon in beaten egg and then dredge in the walnuts; shallow fry in butter because it was that or EVOO and I'm running short on oil. Add a green sauce of basil, garlic and EVOO. At table, pour the remaining butter - now nicely browned - over the fish and over the corn we had on the side.

 

20211009_192804.jpg

 

The flavor was good. It seems rather perverse to slather "heart healthy" fish with butter, but there it is. What wasn't so great was that the fish flesh was still a bit overcooked and/or dry.

 

20211010_082827.jpg

 

I think it would have been better with a slightly shorter cooking time. He thinks it's the nature of the beast. Next time, I'll try someone's earlier suggestion of using steam bake* in the Cuisinart Steam Oven. I may like the texture better that way. He'll be sorry it doesn't have a nice crust. 

 

*What time and temperature should I use? Anyone remember?

I have also been less than enamored with the Wild Alaskan salmon.  It seems that no matter how little I cook it, it's still seems dry and overcooked.  It almost seems dry and overcooked when it's raw.  I've been suspending my "monthly" delivery for as long as possible every time I get the email saying that they're getting ready to ship... I still have a ton of fish in the freezer - mainly because I'm just not a huge fan of it and don't look forward to making it.  I've had much better success with wild caught Mahi mahi and grouper from Wild Fork.  I think the next time I'll do some salmon, I'll do it sous vide - I usually cook it to 102F core temp using a bath temp of 115F - hopefully that will help keep it as juicy as possible.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KennethT said:

...I still have a ton of fish in the freezer - mainly because I'm just not a huge fan of it and don't look forward to making it. 

 

Have you tried their all-white fish package? I've stuck with the mixed because I generally prefer salmon to any of the white fish, but I think I've had better results with the cod and halibut.

 

I'll give the company credit: they make it very easy to pause deliveries if necessary. I also like their responsiveness to email.

  • Like 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much of that wild Alaskan we’re getting from Wild Alaska (coho or sockeye) is from smaller fish, and the filets are pretty darn thin.  I salt them ahead (as @gfwebmentions) but in the CSO I go very low…like 225 for 5 minutes. That seems to keep the filets moister (as does poaching).

 

I recently bought (via Fresh Direct, no less) some wild Alaskan king, never frozen…totally different ballgame.. thick, meaty filets that I had to put back in the oven after 10 minutes!

 

I’d still much rather eat the wild product than virtually any farmed (though I realize that much nova and lox is from farmed fish).


And @Ann_T - no capers??!!  I knew finally you’d show the tiniest of faults after teasing us with all that gorgeous fish (and bread).

 

  • Like 3

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, weinoo said:

Much of that wild Alaskan we’re getting from Wild Alaska (coho or sockeye) is from smaller fish, and the filets are pretty darn thin.  I salt them ahead (as @gfwebmentions) but in the CSO I go very low…like 225 for 5 minutes. That seems to keep the filets moister (as does poaching).

 

I recently bought (via Fresh Direct, no less) some wild Alaskan king, never frozen…totally different ballgame.. thick, meaty filets that I had to put back in the oven after 10 minutes!

 

I’d still much rather eat the wild product than virtually any farmed (though I realize that much nova and lox is from farmed fish).


And @Ann_T - no capers??!!  I knew finally you’d show the tiniest of faults after teasing us with all that gorgeous fish (and bread).

 

 

Agreed. I'll often go to a lower finished temp. I like a hint of outer flake and internal moistness.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

Have you tried their all-white fish package? I've stuck with the mixed because I generally prefer salmon to any of the white fish, but I think I've had better results with the cod and halibut.

 

I'll give the company credit: they make it very easy to pause deliveries if necessary. I also like their responsiveness to email.

The lsat time I ordered I got the white fish package because I still had a lot of salmon left over.  I've had good success with their halibut, cod and rockfish (and spot prawns btw) but I think it's pretty expensive for what I got.  I can basically get teh same stuff from Wild Fork but order exactly what I want rather than the mixed grab bag - plus, it's not a club that's expecting me to order once a month - sure, it's easy to postpone it, but if I'm busy and forget, there's over $100 that's coming to me.  I'd rather be able to order by the piece instead or just order a box whenever I want, rather than the whole monthly deal...

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, weinoo said:

And @Ann_T - no capers??!!  I knew finally you’d show the tiniest of faults after teasing us with all that gorgeous fish (and bread).

@weinoo, sorry to disappoint.😀 Don't like capers, mainly because I don't like the flavour the brine/vinegar adds to a dish.  Which is why

I use green peppercorns in the Piccata sauce.  And even the green peppercorns are dried not brined.  Can't stand the brined ones. 

 

I have eaten more fish in the last 8 months than I would eat in a couple of years.  I've never been big on fish.  Moe loves fish so when Walcan Seafood started offering right to the door delivery, I decided to give them a try.  

 

Their story on how they saved their business during Covid is interesting.  

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/10/16/news/how-island-seafood-company-hooked-fresh-opportunities-during-covid-19

 

My first order was a combination of Sockeye Salmon, Spring Salmon, Halibut, Lingcod, Sablefish, Spot Prawns ,  Petrale sole and sushi quality Albacore Tuna.  (so good).     I already knew that I wasn't really a big fan of salmon so after a few meals, I gave most of it away. 

Have always loved halibut , and decided that I also love sablefish and even enjoy the Petrale sole.   

 

Since the first delivery  I've order more halibut, sablefish and Petrale sole. As well as Spot Prawns.   Through out the last few months, I've ordered more portions of frozen halibut and sablefish as well as 5lbs of fresh halibut and fresh Petrale sole. I'm well stocked at the moment.   During the short Spot Prawn season, they even delivered live prawns. Also ordered Hokkaido sea scallops for Moe. He loves scallops and I don't.   Apparently these are sushi quality. 

On work nights it makes for a quick dinner to pull fish, prawns or scallops out of the freezer.

 

They are now offering a monthly subscription box for $149.00.   You can choose five options and you save about $50.00.   Doesn't work for me because going forward I'm sticking to just ordering halibut, sablefish and when available prawns and more scallops for Moe.  

 

The deliver service is amazing.  And they have been so successful that they expanded their delivery service from down Island over to the mainland.   

Edited by Ann_T (log)
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/10/2021 at 7:37 PM, KennethT said:

- plus, it's not a club that's expecting me to order once a month - sure, it's easy to postpone it, but if I'm busy and forget, there's over $100 that's coming to me. 

That keeps happening to us on a monthly local beef farm share. I need to take over the account. DH forgets and it is on its way when we don't need it. They have the best price in the NYMetropolitan area on add-on bones for stock but he forgets it is out for delivery. Too late for add-ons. 

We have salmon once, sometimes twice a week. Fortunately we both love it. 90% of the time is cast iron seared crispy skin. Never flipped. Mostly a white miso glaze on top and into a low oven waiting to plate---hot plates. Goes into the cast iron straight from the fridge ice cold. Never over cooked. Sometimes a seed crust with a minute broiler time. (when I ran out of miso---so rare that happens)

All our proteins sit icy cold uncovered for 4-6 hours in the fridge---steak, fish, shellfish, burger/mince, straight to the 'not' smoking cast iron....cold interior gives an easy to control rare-medium rare interior. Salmon goes into the smoker frozen at 180º for 45 minutes. ---at full smoke and heat. Thawed at room temp it would fall apart on the rack. I use the tail and collar cuts for smoking. 

I don't think quality is an issue. Though I have mentioned we have had the best shrimp in years recently. We stopped buying shrimp and scallops a few years ago. Not worth it and the price. $$$

I've never had dry salmon. 

If in the NYC area and a AmazonWhole Foods shopper---the WildGulfShrimp is fantastic right now. I ordered Atlantic Canada/US but was replaced with the gulf. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...