Food The Fish thread

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by David Mansfield, May 19, 2019.

  1. That can certainly be true of plaice - which I often buy when they are still alive. I confess that I quite like it with plaice!! Gives a certain refinement to a fish that can otherwise be a bit ordinary. Never experienced it with brill or turbot.

    With Dovers they can be tough and rubbery when eaten on the day they are caught. Higher temp cooking seems to have a de-naturing effect to an extent. Skate can be the same. Not convinced I’ve completely mastered things though as I suspect there are other variables at play.
  2. I don't think really large plaice are ever ordinary, Jon, but certainly small ones are.
    I'm sure you're used to fresher fish than I but I have experienced this with brill and turbot.
  3. And with halibut too.
  4. I’m told large turbot need as much as 7 or 8 days resting to be ready to eat.
  5. Large turbot need at least seven days to raise the required funds.
  6. I don’t doubt you Tom. I just think that there are other variables at play, not just freshness. I have cooked both brill and turbot on the day that they’ve been caught and never noticed the milky soft effect that I’ve experienced a lot with plaice. Dovers can be very variable when cooked on the day of capture. I do wonder if sex, size, time of year, diet all have an effect?
    Thom Blach likes this.
  7. Mark,

    We had an excellent meal there a few years ago and a memorably wonderful aged orvieto.

    Mark Crann likes this.
  8. Jim , I bought a dozen soles on Sunday, and my man recommended not to skin them citing freezer burn as I wasn’t cooking them straight away.

    The cynic in me says, mostly because this would have been a pain in the arse to skin as they were so fresh. I speak through experience having tried to skin them myself.

    Loule is a great cheap fish market !! Quarteria (sp) is a great alternative.

    To others , a bit like skate , these fish are best given 24 hours before cooking.
    Jim Agar likes this.
  9. Paul I can assure you this is not the case.
    Any fish from day 2 onwards will only become an inferior experience, even kept in
    Very good or ideal conditions.

    My father in law has cooked several Turbot whole in the 4-6 kg range.

    Any visit to Billingsgate is not a guarantee of quality , will offer An opportunity to see fish that is inferior or not fit for sale

    The first clue is cutting the head off as this is first to deteriorate, dry out , especially the eyes.
  10. Large flatfish really do need quite a lot of time, David, particularly if transported properly. Of course, in the commercial process they get that time willy nilly!
  11. My source in Mikael Jonsson at Hedone restaurant: I don't know anywhere in London that has better fish.
    It takes that long for exceptional fish for the fish to be soft enough to use. This wouldn't be a typical fish.
    Btw, 4-6 kg is not especially big for Turbot.

    Tuna is typically aged even longer ... 10 days or such, by some of the greatest sushi restaurants.

    I don't disagree with you re Billingsgate.
    Chris Davies likes this.
  12. I posted this in the Seville thread after a good dinner at Canabota. Seems appropriate to post it again here:

    Had an interesting chat at the wet fish counter, as you do. I was talking to the chef about which fish to choose and was suggesting that the ones which looked freshest with the brightest eyes were the best ones. He disagreed! He said they were too fresh and still in rigour mortis and were lacking flavour. He said the less fresh looking ones were better and the monster grouper they had would be aged for 30 days before they started to serve it. When the fish is aged the long chain and relatively tasteless peptides are broken down to tasty amino acids. Similar to hanging beef. I’ve heard this about sushi too and the best Japanese sushi places age their tuna for up to 3 weeks. I think it’s much more difficult to get the conditions right when aging fish than beef to avoid the flesh going off.
  13. My understanding is that much fish here in the UK is not optimal right from the moment it is caught, due to dreadful handling, which might explain why fish doesn't age as it should even when bought fresh from the boat.
    And even where Ikejime is used, say, I am told that the technique isn't that useful for many of the varieties around our shores (and is often badly applied anyway), but perhaps the quality is still better just because more attention is paid to fish handling in general once caught and a premium is paid.
    Chris Davies likes this.
  14. Aging fish seems quite common amongst those with some Japanese experience in their training. The excellent Ernst in Berlin served Brill ages for 5-6 days when I was there last.
    Chris Davies likes this.
  15. Just reread the article on Elkano restaurant in Getaria in The Sunday Times magazine a few weeks ago and the owner there, looking through the day’s catch of Turbot, was sorting them out for today’s or tomorrow’s menu, no mention of ageing any longer. Cooking them whole with the skin on may be a factor here.
  16. Among all the pessimism, I have had a some positive experiences - even in London. Just the other week I got some pristine hake from the fish stall in Pimlico Farmer's Market and I have even sourced good brill and cod loin from my local Waitrose. The latter surprised me, but the fish was genuinely lovely. The brill fresh and tasty and the cod had that perfect milky, flaky texture.
    Jim Agar likes this.
  17. Perhaps, yet I doubt that is the case as I have seen similar quality from their Clapham shop that would get poorer fish due to the economic status of their clientele.

    Let me know when you see some live langoustines like this and I'll pop right down :)

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  18. This statement is outright false. Think of larger fish much like you would meats that are traditionally aged (beef, lamb, pork, etc). If you are having an inferior experience, the fish is:

    a. not of high quality (not line caught, etc)
    b. not killed properly (ike-jime)
    c. stored in the wrong conditions

    Just like some people prefer their beef aged 7-14 days, there are others that find a different yet not inferior experience when taken 28+ days or even longer.

    Best tuna I've had in my life was aged for 14 days and grilled quickly over bincho-tan.
  19. [​IMG]

    They don't cut their heads off in Kuwait, they glue googly eyes on.
  20. I have had some pretty good ones, though not that size. The most important fish dictum is, however, Ferran Adria's ' a fresh sardine is better than a stale lobster'!
    Simon Wheeler likes this.
  21. I need 7 or 8 days resting after paying for a large turbot
    Andrew Blunsden likes this.
  22. Never seen a live Langoustine in Moxon's, incredibly bad luck?

    When it comes to Ferran, I think he probably knows a thing or two about produce yet cannot say anything I ate at ElBulli was top drawer from an ingredient perspective. If I'm going to eat seafood in London, I go to Hedone because Mikael is one of those people that is studious about pretty much everything food/wine related. Still, I've had bad fish there as he cannot oversee absolutely everything unless he checks every dish and even then some faults cannot be fully revealed until you feel its texture (although there are warning signs).

  23. Tom , that is an incredibly large langoustine. I doubt I have seen bigger in all my travels around Scotland.

    Unless you buy them live from source it is very unlikely to obtain them extant.I order
    Them overnight from Scotland and they are barely alive on receipt 36 hours later,
    And this is from a holding pool with tanks, where the fishermen are trying to connect directly with end users in Spain, France etc.

    They deteriorate incredibly quickly, especially the smaller they are.
  24. Which I think describes another variable perfectly; species.
  25. Blind tasting makes many of us fools when it comes to wine. I fancy even more so when it comes to tasting fish
    And how it was dispatched “Japanese stylie”............

    If there any experts out there, please don’t hesitate.

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