Sushi chef style fish care - 2CoolFishing
Home  |  Contact Us  |  Advertise   |   Follow:
Go Back   2CoolFishing > General Interest Forums > Recipes
Register FAQ Social Groups Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-13-2005, 06:17 PM   #1
Instigator
Duck removal service
 
Join Date: Jul 06 2004
Location: Missouri City
Age: 66
Posts: 1,037
Rep Power: 6633035
Instigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to Pirate
Sushi chef style fish care

As promised from the head/tail king thread here's the fish care/cleaning/storage thread. This will be lengthy so I'll break it into a couple or three posts. Probably the first things to consider are your personal tastes and styles. I think this diagnostic test will be a pretty reliable tool to help you decide whether to keep reading or move on to something else. If you go to the grocery cooler and look for the cheapest beer they have, then this will be a waste of time for you. On the other hand, if you're more likely to follow the Warsteiner slogan, "Life's too short to drink cheap beer," then all the Japanese style production will make a big difference to you. To be honest, the number of fish we have on the table goes a long way in determing whether I use traditional Texas slash and bag, do the full Japanese treatment or something in between. It just takes a lot longer Asian style. So you have some idea where all this blather is coming from, I acquired this information (it's wonderful party trivia!) from a combination of being an obsessive/compulsive fisherman like you guys for over 40 years, chasing advanced degrees in marine oriented science to a dissertation short of a Ph.D and about three years of informal apprenticeship under a master sushi chef. We traded, I taught him fishing and he tried to teach me the sushi biz.

For a sushi chef, thinking about dinner starts before the fish is hooked. Prepare your coffin with the smallest cubes available or even better, blown snow style ice. If you have larger cubes then it is best to make a saltwater slush by adding enough seawater (do this offshore, not in the harbor) so that it is easy to slide your fish in and submerge them as they are caught. I have read where some guys add rock salt to the mix to super cool it like we did on kegs in college, but when I tried that I ended up with frozen fish. The extra high salinity cools the water below the freezing point of the fish and that isn't what you want. The next consideration is using tackle that will bring the fish in as quickly as possible. Fish biochemistry differs from humans considerably, but they undergo anaerobic respiration in their muscles when in "fight or flight" mode just like we do. That means that the longer they are on the string, the more lactic acid buildup you get with a proportional loss in food quality. It's like the poorly shot deer that has strong tough venison, well similar anyway. OK, so we got the AJ at the boat. It's decision time. Do you really want to sink that gaff into the loin where it will hold, or into the belly where you won't lose loin but it might rip out? The sushi chef doesn't like either alternative. On an AJ (and most other fish) the loin above the backbone is the meat and potatoes part of the fish but the belly is like caviar and escargot all rolled into one, especially in tuna (you see it as toro at the sushi bar, the most expensive cut of tuna). So, you take your time and stick him under the throat latch (a bad idea on sharks, they tend to want to swim right up into the boat when you do that, jaws snapping). Open the coffin and swing the fish into the box in one motion. No posing for photos yet. The fish won't like the ice one bit as you know, but the slush will give and not provide him anything to bang against, which reduces bruising tremendously. It has the same benefit on the ride home if you're pounding into a chop. The slush also makes contact with the fish over 100% of its body and thus chills him a whole lot faster than cubes with air spaces between. As soon as you think the fish has chilled enough to be calm, but not dead, take him out and bleed him by cutting that throat latch right where it widens into the body. The fishes' heart lies right behind that cut and the biggest artery in the fish runs between the heart and gills so this will empty him fast if his heart is still beating. You'll conserve ice if you can bleed him out of the ice chest (I have a bait well by the box that drains out of the boat and it works great for this), but if you bleed him into the box it isn't critical. All fish benefit from this by the way, not just tuna, mackerel and sharks. It's more important on scombrids and sharks for various reasons. It's needed on tuna and billfish because they maintain their body temperature higher than their surroundings so bleeding removes heat fast, on mackerel because they are very bloody and will taste strong if you don't bleed them and on sharks because they carry urea in their blood to help balance that osmosis problem and it breaks down into really nasty ammonia-like compounds right after death. After you are satisfied that he is bled out gut him, but don't cut through the throat to the gills on bottom fish. That part is too valuable on snapper, grouper AJ's etc (more on that later). It's not such a big deal on pelagics. Once you have all this done slide the fish back into the slush so that the body is in a verticle swimming position with its head down like it is swimming for the bottom of the coffin. This allows any other loose body fluids to run out of the fish at your cuts instead of pooling in the meat and it helps to further reduce bruising on the way home. If you were really lucky and the fish was a beast that won't fit in the box, cut off the tail before the head. The tail meat is the least desireable on the fish. You'll notice that when you go on charters out of the country and ask for some fish to take to a restaurant or whatever, the mate will almost always give you the meat from behind the dorsal fin to the tail unless you specify otherwise. Those guys know what they're doing and they're gonna keep the best for themselves or to sell at a higher price. If you still have to remove the head (lucky you) then make double sure that you have either made a salt water slush or if you had crushed ice that the coffin is drain open for the rest of the trip. The meat above the backbone up by the head is the best block of meat on the fish (there are arguments on this between belly and loin men). It's not anatomically the same as the tenderloins on a deer but qualitatively they are analogous so you don't want it screwed up from freshwater ice melt. Freshwater contact can mess up your fish faster than anything else if you're not careful. Fish skin acts as a natural barrier to the evils of osmosis so as long as it is there you're OK. Expose the meat to that freshwater unprotected and within seconds freshwater runs into the cells and explodes them like overfilled water balloons. There goes your tasty fish, and how much did it cost per pound? OH MY! If you make a slush that has a similar salinity level to fish fluids, then the the power to the osmosis engine is cut off and your fish is safe. If a little melt dribbles over the fish on the way to the bottom and out the drain it's way better than having your fine cuisine soaking in it for hours. So that's what you would do with fish number one. Now repeat that process several more times until the box is full and head for the house. Next installment will be the saga of the cleaning table.
Instigator is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-13-2005, 06:40 PM   #2
wishin4fishin
Registered Users-pm+
 
wishin4fishin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 21 2004
Location: Pearland
Age: 57
Posts: 815
Rep Power: 3486751
wishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Piratewishin4fishin has been promoted to Pirate
Very interesting. would it be safe to assume that it's not a good idea to wash your fillets with tap water? (i.e. trout, redfish, flounder) If so, do you just wipe them clean with paper towels, etc.?

Scott
wishin4fishin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2005, 06:54 PM   #3
j.g.
 
Join Date: Jun 03 2004
Posts: 68
Rep Power: 0
j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)j.g. is a Landlubber (+10 to -10)
great info.... can't wait for the next post
j.g. is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-13-2005, 08:36 PM   #4
Bret
Iusedtofish
 
Bret's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 21 2004
Age: 54
Posts: 2,893
Rep Power: 4965291
Bret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to PirateBret has been promoted to Pirate
Thanks for the info.. keep it coming..
Bret is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-13-2005, 11:21 PM   #5
speckle-catcher
Registered Users-pm+
 
speckle-catcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 20 2004
Age: 49
Posts: 26,148
Rep Power: 21507112
speckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Pirate
how bout breaking that into paragraphs to make it easier to read?

Bayduck had an interesting post a long time ago on how to properly field dress a YFT for sushi grade meat. I'll try to find it.
speckle-catcher is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2005, 12:59 AM   #6
CAPSIZED
Registered Users-pm+
 
CAPSIZED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 10 2004
Posts: 2,439
Rep Power: 21483321
CAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to Pirate
Excellent information Instigator, thank you. My fishing buddy was a commercial fisherman in Hawaii for years he said caring for the fish properly could mean a few dollars more per pound. Thats a lot when your talkin about a 100lb tuna. He believed getting the tuna in the boat fast was the most important part thats why he used a hand line. Thanks again for sharing that knowledge with us.
CAPSIZED is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2005, 01:02 AM   #7
speckle-catcher
Registered Users-pm+
 
speckle-catcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 20 2004
Age: 49
Posts: 26,148
Rep Power: 21507112
speckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Piratespeckle-catcher has been promoted to Pirate
a hand line for tuna? I'd love to hear how to do that. I thought spearfishing them was brave.
speckle-catcher is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2005, 01:11 AM   #8
CAPSIZED
Registered Users-pm+
 
CAPSIZED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 10 2004
Posts: 2,439
Rep Power: 21483321
CAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to PirateCAPSIZED has been promoted to Pirate
Yes a hand line a basket and a good pair of gloves. I didnt understand it until I saw him do it. He has also landed huge Marlin with hand line.
CAPSIZED is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2005, 01:21 AM   #9
agulhas
Registered Users-pm+
 
Join Date: Jul 27 2004
Posts: 884
Rep Power: 7050
agulhas has disabled reputation
i have seen them handlined in south africa. the line is like 800lb and they are in the boat in no time.
agulhas is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2005, 05:50 PM   #10
Instigator
Duck removal service
 
Join Date: Jul 06 2004
Location: Missouri City
Age: 66
Posts: 1,037
Rep Power: 6633035
Instigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to PirateInstigator has been promoted to Pirate
The Cleaning Table

I'm glad you guys found the information interesting and I'll see if I can't make this one more reader friendly for speckle-catcher . Oh yeah, wishin4fishin, you're right. That's a bad idea and I'll cover it in the next installment.

It has been a long hot day of fishing and you're finally back at the dock with a box of fish. Now you can drain all the saltwater out of the box so you won't get a hernia lifting it out. We'll assume a perfect world here and you are able to get your fish to the table easily and there isn't anybody else anywhere around. As you approach the table a half dozen sleepy seagulls that have been roosting on the table take wing, each of them depositing a nice oyster sized glob of processed gull food right where you'll be cleaning you catch. There are gulls even in a perfect world. There are tap water hoses for you to rinse you catch and several lengths of 2X8 lumber to use as cutting boards.

Obviously, if you are thinking about eating your fish raw there are some things here that are unacceptable. The provided cutting boards have been in use for who knows how long and cleaned up with a minimum of care, if at all, for as long as they have been in use. The gulls have probably never left a deposit on them either, right? The point is, the cleaning table should only be used for the preliminary cleaning that you really don't want to do at home.

Step one is to decide how the fish will end up. Most of the time we don't even consider options other than fillets, but in the world of haute cuisine this is the least desireable form. Fish cleaned with skin and bone intact hold better, freeze better, give you more options later and if you cook them, they yield a much moister tastier product than boneless skinless fillets. Optimally all you do at the cleaning table is gut the fish if you didn't do it at sea, scale and rinse them. Even here you can make a difference though. Just take the fish out of the box and work on them one at a time and then put them back in the ice. You went to the trouble and expense of all that ice to keep your fish cold so don't waste it by piling the fish on the table to get hot while you work. You'll get some funny looks for scaling your fish, but it's a little like having numbers to a spot that nobody else has. Just smile and keep working. That's all you want to do here. Everything else occurs in a way more sanitary environment, like your kitchen.

The good news is that your fish are now in a kind of suspended animation in terms of quality and as long as you keep them vertically on drained ice, they will actually improve for three days. So, you can get all the rest of the chores done and rest up some before you become a bona fide fish butcher. I probably ought to explain that 'improve for three days' thing. The old saw, "Fish are best right out of the water", is a myth. Fish is protein just like lamb, beef, pork or venison and all those proteins benefit from aging as we all know. So why not fish? The molecular structure of fish protein is slightly different from mammals, but it still improves with proper handling. The fish need to be kept on ice, not in the refrigerator, and held in that same vertical position to allow draining. Tip the ice chest so that it drains most efficiently and add ice to keep the fish covered as necessary. Like this, fish improve to the end of the third day after capture and then hold there for 24 hours before beginning to decline in quality. If I haven't eaten the fish by the fifth day, they get frozen. This is an average for all fish. The process is slightly faster for dolphin and slower for snapper. Tuna are the benchmark for this system. Tuna sashimi right on the boat is good if you eat it still "dancing" with life, but if you wait until the fish is stiff before slicing, it will be the toughest sashimi you ever eat.

OK, that takes care of the cleaning table. Essentially, just use it for rough cleaning and then get out of Dodge. I'll tackle the kitchen angle next time.
Instigator is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the 2CoolFishing forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 15.00%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2019
© 2013 Noreast Media, LLC | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertise