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Old 07-22-2018, 12:03 PM   #1
anthropisces
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Fillets are for sissys

At the Phil Foster Park fillet tables people would show up and ask for the carcasses. Initially I thought to myself, "well they don't have access to a boat and all the other stuff that allow our team to extract only the fillets... so they are settling on the carcass, and what little they can get from it.

I didn't realize who was getting the raw end of the deal in those days. All of the flavor is concentrated up in the head and in the bones. All of the gelatinous bits and fat and other deliciousness get left behind by the average artist with a fillet knife. That stuff is next to (or inside) the bones, up in the head, etc.

But there is a strong experimental side to my palate. For example, now that I'm here in the Pacific Northwest I've had a chance to prepare some really large termites, instead of the rice grain sized ones that taste like crab that I'd eaten in Florida. All of it began so far as I recall when, as a child, I saw a National Geographic photo of a tribesman displaying some gargantuan insects that were to be eaten. Even as a kid something about it struck me that it would be delicious.

I've been working on the boat engine for more than a month, waiting for parts to arrive in the mail and drilling out galled screws and I've had zero time to study what has to happen in order to bring a salmon onto the boat (no spearing of them is allowed). I haven't had time to put the crab gear together either but I finally did get the motor purring yesterday and so I headed to the ramp and ran her around Puget Sound.

Back at the ramp I saw some fellows cleaning some King Salmon and I asked them "hey what are your plans for those carcasses?" They looked pitifully at me and said I could have all I wanted so I took 5 nice sized ones.

After degilling and removing the guts and any scales I put it all in a pot with onions, scallions, celery and some spices. After a couple of hours it was liquid nirvana. I then let it cool and separated the bones from the rest of it. The bones when back into the pot to simmer for 24 hours for an incredibly nutritious bone-broth.

All of the meat and fat and such went into another pot with some cream, cracked pepper, goat milk and more spices and let me tell you it is sublime.

There are a few species that don't lend themselves as well as others to making a chowder but every species is worth making bone broth from. Its got stuff to strengthen your body that you can't get from a fillet or any vitamin formulation out there.

A friend of mine with Cuban heritage once laughed when he say that I was going to throw away the carcass of a large mutton snapper and said "dude, give me that! Its the best part"

There's a lot to learn from people if we can get past our inclination to look at them as if they are somehow disadvantaged.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

There is an Asian lady that lives near me. When I clean fish she also always wants the carcasses. Some day I will have to taste what she is making, I love Thai and Asian food, but always assumed it would be very fishy...
So Tell me...
Is it Fishy?
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

"No bones, no flavor."
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

I should have titled this thread "sissys eat better than heros". The guys crushing it who throw the best parts of the fish away certainly aren't sissys.

The amount of fishiness depends on the species and which part ends up in your mouth in any particular spoonful.

Personally I'm a lover of the fat on a ribeye steak, but it pales in comparison to the pocket off fat behind (and including) the eye of a gag or black grouper. It is heartbreakingly, bring a tear to your eye delicious. I'm known to scoop out a big hunk of flesh of all sorts of fish before they are discarded from the fillet table and I generally focus on the eye.

There's a great grouper-head recipe in this section that everyone who hunts them and who can get past traditional food prejudices should try. For me that was just the beginning.

The biggest limiting factor for a soup is whether the head is suitable to be tossed in or not. I've tried this with kingfish and cobia and neither was of interest as a soup. Either would make a great bone broth though, like pretty much every species.

https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-...and-cellulite/
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:01 PM   #5
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

I haven't seen you post in a while, Anthrop. Great return post. It really has me thinking. SO, were the termites dead? Alive? How were they prepared?
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:20 PM   #6
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

I love the smell of fish broth in the morning.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

Quote:
Originally Posted by anthropisces View Post
I should have titled this thread "sissys eat better than heros". The guys crushing it who throw the best parts of the fish away certainly aren't sissys.

The amount of fishiness depends on the species and which part ends up in your mouth in any particular spoonful.

Personally I'm a lover of the fat on a ribeye steak, but it pales in comparison to the pocket off fat behind (and including) the eye of a gag or black grouper. It is heartbreakingly, bring a tear to your eye delicious. I'm known to scoop out a big hunk of flesh of all sorts of fish before they are discarded from the fillet table and I generally focus on the eye.

There's a great grouper-head recipe in this section that everyone who hunts them and who can get past traditional food prejudices should try. For me that was just the beginning.

The biggest limiting factor for a soup is whether the head is suitable to be tossed in or not. I've tried this with kingfish and cobia and neither was of interest as a soup. Either would make a great bone broth though, like pretty much every species.

https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-...and-cellulite/

If you roast the bones before you boil, it wont be fishy.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:57 PM   #8
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
I haven't seen you post in a while, Anthrop. Great return post. It really has me thinking. SO, were the termites dead? Alive? How were they prepared?
In the past I had eaten insects raw. I've recently got it into my head that the potential for parasites is there though so I'm shying away from it. The 20 termites I ate out here were extracted from a decaying log and brought home and cooked with some butter and roasted with pine nuts and I have to say that that the recipe overwhelmed them and I scarcely could taste them. Next time I would throw them into a hot pan with nothing else. They are so small that they cook instantaneously.

I once decided to try one of those big lubber grasshoppers in the days before I was on the internet. I have since read on the internet that they are "toxic" but I didn't suffer any ill effects after sampling one. The way it happened is that I was walking in the scrub at Johnathan Dickenson park and I found a large one and I thought that I'd just barely taste it, just to see what it was like, but I vowed that I'd be staying on the safe side by just sampling a little. I admit that I was pretty intimidated. The numerous June Beetle grubs that I'd eaten raw and termites had both delivered big on that crabby flavor that must be common to arthropods but the sheer size of the lubber made me feel a little queasy. So I decided that I'd barely give it a taste and so I pulled off its head and then, staring at the most unlikely "food" one could imagine, I applied the mildest suction possible to the thorax. What happened was that the entire contents of the creature, thorax, abdomen, stem to stern were instantly evacuated into my mouth and coated it uniformly. I prepared to gag certain that what I was about to be assaulted with would be a noxious, bitter, grassy, unpalatable horror. But when I stopped and took sense of myself all I could taste was what I later described as crab mixed with almond, with maybe just a hint of vanilla.

I have eaten quite a few of the little termites from rotten stumps in Florida and I have never been disappointed. As I mentioned, I had always eaten them raw. I don't know how flash frying them would work because of the risk of overcooking them. I'd love to have a quarter pound or so to really experiment with. The ones out here are much larger and I thought I'd be finding a lot but subsequent trips to the woods haven't yielded any. When I finally do find some (nearly a sure bet since I'm addicted to turning over logs and examining the myriad creatures living under it), I'll flash fry em without any butter and post in here how it went.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:01 PM   #9
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

Quote:
Originally Posted by greekdiver View Post
If you roast the bones before you boil, it wont be fishy.
fascinating, I will give that a try. some amount of fishiness is too much for me but most of the fish bone broth is pretty good and I don't wish to tame it down. But I think the roasting could make it more interesting and flavorful.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:19 PM   #10
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

Quote:
Originally Posted by anthropisces View Post
In the past I had eaten insects raw. I've recently got it into my head that the potential for parasites is there though so I'm shying away from it. The 20 termites I ate out here were extracted from a decaying log and brought home and cooked with some butter and roasted with pine nuts and I have to say that that the recipe overwhelmed them and I scarcely could taste them. Next time I would throw them into a hot pan with nothing else. They are so small that they cook instantaneously.

I once decided to try one of those big lubber grasshoppers in the days before I was on the internet. I have since read on the internet that they are "toxic" but I didn't suffer any ill effects after sampling one. The way it happened is that I was walking in the scrub at Johnathan Dickenson park and I found a large one and I thought that I'd just barely taste it, just to see what it was like, but I vowed that I'd be staying on the safe side by just sampling a little. I admit that I was pretty intimidated. The numerous June Beetle grubs that I'd eaten raw and termites had both delivered big on that crabby flavor that must be common to arthropods but the sheer size of the lubber made me feel a little queasy. So I decided that I'd barely give it a taste and so I pulled off its head and then, staring at the most unlikely "food" one could imagine, I applied the mildest suction possible to the thorax. What happened was that the entire contents of the creature, thorax, abdomen, stem to stern were instantly evacuated into my mouth and coated it uniformly. I prepared to gag certain that what I was about to be assaulted with would be a noxious, bitter, grassy, unpalatable horror. But when I stopped and took sense of myself all I could taste was what I later described as crab mixed with almond, with maybe just a hint of vanilla.

I have eaten quite a few of the little termites from rotten stumps in Florida and I have never been disappointed. As I mentioned, I had always eaten them raw. I don't know how flash frying them would work because of the risk of overcooking them. I'd love to have a quarter pound or so to really experiment with. The ones out here are much larger and I thought I'd be finding a lot but subsequent trips to the woods haven't yielded any. When I finally do find some (nearly a sure bet since I'm addicted to turning over logs and examining the myriad creatures living under it), I'll flash fry em without any butter and post in here how it went.
You crack me up, man. You are a true pioneer. I've eaten a lot of crazy shit but I AM humbled by your courage. Rock on and keep posting your exploits...very intriguing, I must say. I'd love to live vicariously thru you until I gain the courage to sample some myself.
Quote:
all I could taste was what I later described as crab mixed with almond, with maybe just a hint of vanilla.
Just...wow.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

I love fish soup! In any ways. I've also tried snapper/gouper skin broth and it was awesome. Lots of collagen.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:30 PM   #12
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

Some people like eating racoons and possum and think it's delicious. I'll pass. Eat all the fish heads you want. That shiz is gross.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:21 PM   #13
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

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Some people like eating racoons and possum and think it's delicious. I'll pass. Eat all the fish heads you want. That shiz is gross.
The other issue with fish heads is that there is a possibility Elle Driver has poisoned them.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:09 PM   #14
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

Great write up Tom! Yes fish head soup is great. Also while fish way better then just filleting the fish esp for smaller fish.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:58 PM   #15
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Re: Fillets are for sissys

In the American culture it is common for everything that goes into a diner's mouth to be swallowed. In some other cultures it is more common for there to be an exchange with the dinner plate. Bones with meat attached and other such items that are not to be swallowed are nonetheless placed in the mouth and once the edible portion is extracted off of these these are rejected back onto the plate.

If you are going to eat stews and soups from something like a fish head then that is how you are going to eat it. You might not want to arrange to be sitting with the Queen of England if you are planning such a meal.

One thing that I do not enjoy in such meals is the presence of scales and so I am scrupulous about removing every single one. I aggressively rake a butter knife or other suitable tool over areas that I suspect as having some scales still attached obsessively until I'm sure that no more are attached.

Sure this is all a lot more troublesome than stuffing a wad of fluffy white meat from a boneless fillet into one's mouth. But its a different sort of a meal and so if doing things differently once in a while appeals to you then you may want to try this sort of thing out.
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