Today’s my purchase is WILD snapper from Blue Moon. The quality was exellent that I could use for sashimi preparation. How to judge the freshness of fish for raw consumption? Look at eyes. Plump and as clear as mountain water. Gently press flesh. It springs up. Lift gill cover. You find bloody red gill. Observe tummy. It is round. And, more…whole fish just looks like out of the water. When you fillet please careful not to damage the gallbladder. When it breaks it splashes very nasty bitter juice. While filleting the fish you can re-confirm the freshness. The blood flows out when you cut thin film which covers the center bone. Old fish’s blood is firm and brownish color. It clings to the center bone. Anyway, you rinse off the blood before cooking.
Here I have filleted – 2 back-and-belly fillets, 2 half heads, 1 bone. I will make fish soup with the bone. I will cook the heads in a traditional Arani style. I will salt-grill the back fillet and make fish noodles with belly fillets. Fish weighed about 1.5 pound. It cost 6.50 dollers. It is important that we do not waste any part of the fish.
Here are some useful tips for simmering fish or makign soup with the bone.
1. Do “shimofuri”. Shimofuri literally means ‘frost covered’. As you see in one of my photos here I blanch head of fish in a skimmer in boiling water. Blanching time is short. Count 20 or so or wait until the surface of the fish turns to white.
2. Transfer the head immediately to ice cold water (with ice cubes – option). Clean the head with fingers and remove any scales left on the skin or unnecessary items on the bone.
Shimofuri process cleans the fish, so that when it is used in simmering or soup making, the broth and soup won’t take unpleasant fish flavor.
I will post the arani recipe in my other blog shortly.
It is our responsibility to enjoy all part of fish, since fish gave up its own life to us willingly or mostly unwillingly.