Market forms of fish

Yield: 1 servings

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Before You Begin

Before you begin cooking fish there is some general information you should know. Awareness of the market forms of fish, storage hints, and cooking techniques can mean the difference between mere tasty dishes and meals of unmatched delicacy.

Market Forms of Fish

Fish is available in many forms at the market. Some can be purchased ready to cook, while others require special preparation. Below is a list of the market forms of fish.

Whole or round -- This type is marketed just as it came from the sea.

Before cooking, the fish must be scaled and eviscerated (internal organs removed). Usually the head, tail, and fins are removed prior to cooking.

Drawn -- The viscera and entrails are removed. The fish must be scaled. Again the head, fins, and tail are usually removed before cooking.

Dressed or pan-dressed -- The viscera are removed. The head, tail, and fins are usually removed. The fish is scaled, free of blood, and ready to cook.

Steaks -- Steaks are cross-section pieces cut from a large dressed or whole fish, commonly ½" to 1 inch thick. A cross- section of the backbone is the only bone in the steak.

Fillets -- Fillets are slices cut lengthwise from the sides of the fish. They contain no bones or other wastes, however the skin, with scales removed, may be left on one side. A single fillet is the flesh cut from only one side of the fish. Butterfly fillet is the name for two single fillets held together by uncut flesh and skin.

Portions or sticks -- These are pieces cut lengthwise or crosswise from fillets or steaks. Most often they come in equal size portions about 1 inch wide to 3 inches long.

Canned -- Several varieties of fish are canned. Tuna, salmon, mackerel, and fish products are processed in this manner. They can be stored on a shelf and are ready to use.

: About the Author

Adam Starchild has combined business travel with discovering the delights of native dishes from Hawaii and Hong Kong to Russia and the Caribbean. He is the author of The Seafood Heritage Cookbook (Cornell Maritime Press), co-author of another seafood cookbook, and the author of a number of food and cooking articles.

Submitted By BARRY WEINSTEIN On 08-30-95

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