Glad that you have enjoyed watching my porgy filleting demo, and tasting the steamed porgy with three different sauces. All of you liked its meaty texture and sweet flavor of the fish. According to Stephanie of Blue Moon porgy is abundant in our water, so we should enjoy it more often.
Let me review the tips of yesterday’s demonstration.
1. Quickly and thoroughly rinse the fish under running cold tap water. Do not grab the fish body, but grab by the eyes while rinsing it.
2. Porgy is covered with thick, large scales. To remove them effectively use a proper scaler or a tip of the pointed, well-sharpened knife. Move the scaler from the tail part towards the head. Please make sure to remove all small scales as well, which are around the pectoral and dorsal fin. Rinse the scaled fish under running cold tap water and remove all freed scales.
3. At the time of cutting off the fish head do not damage the gull bladder, which releases bitter juice inside the belly when it is broken. Remove the gills and guts from the head and reserve the head to make the stock later*.
4. To clean the blood, which covers the center bone (under the thin film) of the fish, use a toothbrush. Do the cleaning process under running cold tap water. You also clean the cutting board at this time.
5. Put the cleaned fish back to the cleaned chopping board, and fillet the fish. Separate the back side fillet from the center bone. Separate the belly side fillet from the center bone. You have two meaty back side fillets and two thin and small belly side fillets.
Steaming fillet: You can buy already filleted porgy from Stephanie, but do not go throught the below step before cooking the fish.
1. Sprinkle a little sea salt evenly all over each side of fillet and let them stand over the steel grid for 15 to 20 minutes. During this process surface water is drawn out from the fish.
2. Carefully and thoroughly clean the fish under running cold tap water. Wipe each fillet with paper towel.
3. Have a steamer at high steam production. Add the fish to the steamer and cook for about 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness and size of the fish.
4. Enjoy the fish with eggplant miso ragu (Hiroko’s American Kitchen, page 106), spinach sumio sauce (Hiroko’s American Kitchen, page 96 – you can substitute spinach with at-the-height-of-the season green peas, asparagus, ramps or other greens), or sumiso bagna cauda (Hiroko’s American Kitchen, page 83).
Healthy, delicious porgy dinner anytime!