Best Technique for Preserving Delicate Fish Fillets
Many years ago I had the good fortune to have the Louisiana Chefs Hall of Fame star, Tony Chachere, give me some pointers on the proper method to preserve speckled seatrout for the freezer. As many know, speckle Seatrout is a very delicate white meat fish that can rapidly begin to deteriorate when not properly cared for.
Tony stated that the biggest no-no was the common practice of filleting out a days catch and allowing those fillets to lay out on the cleaning table exposed to the sunlight and heat. Then typical cleaners washed the fillets in tap water and bagged them in a ziplock bag filled with tap water.
After taking the fillet knife to a fresh trout, he asked me to put some fillets in a clear Ziploc bag with tapwater and hold it up to the light and focus on the fillet meat edges. I was amazed that after a few minutes you could actually see a fuzzy outline of the fillets beginning to get soft. Tony’s suggestion was to keep a pan or small ice chest pre-filled with crushed ice water and immediately place the fillet when separated from the fish carcass to the chilled water.
Then, upon completion of cleaning fish, bag fillets in Ziploc bags with the ice slush never allowing them to hit outside air again. This technique has proven it’s value on many other white meat fish including walleye, flounder and crappie. When done properly your frozen fillets will taste as good as fresh for many months to come. Give it a try!
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