Preparing a whole fish bought right from the market can be a challenging task, especially for those who are new in the kitchen. The fishy smell, the sight of fish guts & blood and fish scales can be intimidating.
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Here are some useful basic tips for you.
Fish is both delicious and healthy, and the more care you take over selecting and preparing it – the greater your enjoyment overall. Before you start – make sure you have a top quality knife, plenty of space, and a convenient way of discarding some of the smellier waste (you may not want it sitting in your kitchen for too long!).
Step 1 – Choosing a Fresh Fish
Step 2 – Descaling
Step 3 – Finish Descaling
Step 4 – Choosing the right knife
Choosing the right knife is essential, if you want to do a really good job. There are many different shapes and sizes of knives you can use to cut fish.
Western chefs tend to use a long thin knife with a flexible, double bevelled blade.
In the East – in countries like Japan where they eat more fish than any other country in the world – they use a different kind of knife, one that is more rigid, and is only bevelled (sharpened) on one side – like a razor – making it as sharp as it can get. These are the best knives for cutting fish. The knife is known in Japan as a yanagi ba – meaning “willow-blade” – and has the perfect blend of flexibility and sharpness to slice cleanly through even tough-skinned fish like catfish.
Step 5 – Gutting the Fish
Step 6 – Removing the Gills
Step 7 – Fillet the Fish
These are the basics of handling fish from scratch and the applications recommended here are more suitable for Asian cooking style.
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