THE health benefits of eating fresh fish are well-documented, and in WA we are blessed to have access to some of the best quality eating fish in the world.
Preparing your prized catch for the table begins the moment it is caught. Adopting good handling practices ensures that the fillet that ends up on the plate will be of the best possible quality. If the fish is to be kept for the table, many experts recommend the use of iki jime, or brain spiking, as the best way to despatch the fish. It kills the fish instantly, and preserves the quality of the flesh; visit www.ikijime.com for more information. Fish should also be bled immediately and the gills and guts should be removed.
The fish should be kept cool and ideally it should be placed immediately in an ice slurry (two parts ice to one part seawater), while other options for storage include a wet hessian or cotton bag. Careful filleting also helps ensure the quality of the fish for the table, and don’t throw away the carcass and wings needlessly.
Fish usually tastes better eaten fresh, but if it is to be kept for later consumption, it should be frozen as soon as possible, and vacuum sealers are a good way of maintaining the quality of the frozen fish for an extended period. There are many ways to cook fish, but for many simple in best and arguably the most popular method is to lightly fry fillets in batter as this can be done in a few minutes and with limited preparation. However, the possibilities are really only limited by the imagination of the cook and there are countless fish recipes available on the internet and in recipe books. As mentioned earlier, the wings should be kept and these have become a barbecue favourite in recent years. Fish frames can be used to create wonderful stews, soups and chowders.