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EdipisReks
05-09-2011, 09:21 PM
i made ceviche tonight out of atlantic salmon. i cut very thing slices with my yanagi. the cuts looked great but, as soon as i picked them up, they started falling apart. salmon isn't the densest fish, but i imagine there is a special way to handling it. are there any special tips for it and other similar fish? do i need to cut salmon thicker? i've done this with tuna and it worked great: perfect intact translucent slices.

ThEoRy
05-09-2011, 09:57 PM
Pics would help. But in my experience it doesn't need to be paper thin anyway. Could just be the way the salmon tissue is connected. Did it fall apart at the "seams"?

EdipisReks
05-09-2011, 09:57 PM
no pics because it's in my stomach. it fell apart at the seams, yes.

MadMel
05-09-2011, 11:29 PM
Thicker slices will help. Try using farmed salmon as the 'seams' which are actually fat, would be thicker on farmed salmon and may just hold up a little more.

EdipisReks
05-10-2011, 10:07 AM
Thicker slices will help. Try using farmed salmon as the 'seams' which are actually fat, would be thicker on farmed salmon and may just hold up a little more.

cool, thanks.

mhlee
05-10-2011, 10:45 AM
"Atlantic Salmon" is farmed salmon. Wild Atlantic Salmon, from what I've read, is commercially extinct.

Without getting into a discussion of whether you should be using unfrozen, salmon (either farmed or wild) for raw preparations (which you shouldn't), salmon that is mishandled will tend to fall apart along the seams or grains of its flesh. Also, salmon that has been pre-cut into fillets will tend to fall apart quicker because the meat will stretch and bend when handled, causing the meat to fall apart.

Your best bet for any ceviche, crudo, or sushi type preparation is to buy whole fish, break them down yourself at home. Keep the fish whole will, at a minimum, minimize flesh degradation by (1) minimizing exposure to air, (2) keeping the physical structure intact (i.e. the bones of the fish keep the fish from bending, twisting and falling apart).

Lastly, many fish processors, especially for large fish like salmon, put the fish through a de-boning process to pull out the pin bones. This, IMHO, is the quickest way to cause the meat to fall apart as the pin bones in the fish hold the meat together. Pin bones should be pulled out as close to the time that you intend to prepare the fish as possible. Notice how the flesh looks before and after the pin bones are taken out, even with super fresh fish that's in rigor mortis. Even super firm, fresh fish will suffer tears as soon as you pull the pin bones out.

EdipisReks
05-10-2011, 11:19 AM
it was certainly farmed salmon (the Atlantic in the name just delineates it from other species of salmon), though a bit redder than the regular cheapo stuff. precut and deboned filet, sold skin on. sounds like what i experienced is just par for the course with fish bought prepared that way. it worked out just as deliciously as i expected, the presentation just wasn't quite what i wanted. the last time i broke down a large whole fish in my kitchen my apartment smelled of it for days, so i think i'll just put up with the flesh coming apart, though i may see if i can find bone in pieces locally. thanks!

MadMel
05-10-2011, 11:35 AM
You can try to find a fishmonger who has whole fish and ask him to fillet it for you lol. you may wanna try ocean trout for a smaller fish. same rosy flesh tho a lighter shade.
I didn't realise that wild atlantic salmon was extinct. Gotta do more reading haha.

EdipisReks
05-10-2011, 11:45 AM
it isn't extinct as a species, but it's gone as a viable wild catch. i'll try trout, next time. i usually use tuna because i can get decent tuna very locally, but they were out.

MadMel
05-10-2011, 11:57 AM
Ic. Its ocean trout that has that pinkish colour. I don't believe that any other species of trout has that. Lucky you to be able to get decent tuna. In Singapore all we get are the frozen ones unless you wanna spend a mini fortune importing a fresh one and have it go tru the agri-veterinary health department.. I usually do snapper and scallops as we can get good quality stuff on this. Mind sharing your recipe?

EdipisReks
05-10-2011, 12:18 PM
i live hundreds of miles from the ocean, but what my local large specialty market (http://www.junglejims.com/foodmarket/food%2Ddepartments/seafood/) has is pretty good for my uses. certainly better than regular grocery store fair i've found in the area. i've never purchased any of their live fish, perhaps i should. anyway, i was shocked that they were out of the tuna i usually buy, and i was in a hurry, so i just bought a filet. oh, recipe wise i don't do anything special. i marinate whatever vegetables i want to use (last night was red cabbage, green onion, serrano peppers, shallot, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes) in lime juice with some salt and pepper until the flavors meld, then add the fish and serve when it looks ready.

mhlee
05-10-2011, 12:20 PM
it isn't extinct as a species, but it's gone as a viable wild catch. i'll try trout, next time. i usually use tuna because i can get decent tuna very locally, but they were out.

I've read of a number of sustainable sushi bars serving Arctic Char coming from closed water circulation systems. They're supposed to be clean and good for the environment and safe for sushi. I have had it a few times - it's not quite as rich and fatty as salmon, but it's a smaller fish. I've seen them around 2 - 3 pounds and around 6 to 8 dollars a pound. You could buy a whole one and give it a shot.

EdipisReks
05-10-2011, 12:22 PM
I've read of a number of sustainable sushi bars serving Arctic Char coming from closed water circulation systems. They're supposed to be clean and good for the environment and safe for sushi. I have had it a few times - it's not quite as rich and fatty as salmon, but it's a smaller fish. I've seen them around 2 - 3 pounds and around 6 to 8 dollars a pound. You could buy a whole one and give it a shot.

that sounds like a pretty good idea. i'd be willing to try a whole fish again. thanks!

MadMel
05-10-2011, 12:30 PM
Time to break out that deba, no? haha

EdipisReks
05-10-2011, 12:36 PM
Time to break out that deba, no? haha

it very well may be. :)

JohnnyChance
05-11-2011, 12:23 AM
When I am in the mood for salmon, it is easier/cheaper for me to get wild Steelhead Trout than a good wild salmon. Very similar in taste, color, texture etc. And smaller than salmon so if you could buy a whole one and still have it manageable at home.

MadMel
05-11-2011, 12:33 AM
When I am in the mood for salmon, it is easier/cheaper for me to get wild Steelhead Trout than a good wild salmon. Very similar in taste, color, texture etc. And smaller than salmon so if you could buy a whole one and still have it manageable at home.

Hmm wondering if Steelhead Trout is the same species as Ocean Trout. Imma look that up.

JohnnyChance
05-11-2011, 12:34 AM
It is rainbow trout that has lived in the ocean for a few years I believe.

MadMel
05-11-2011, 03:33 AM
Ok wiki has it that they are the same thing lol. Just different names for different countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_trout

festally
05-11-2011, 12:35 PM
What mhlee said makes a lot of sense. I’ve experienced that falling apart at the seams issue a few times with fillets that have been sitting in the display, but not with whole fish that are cut in front of me or ones that I’ve done myself. The texture of fish seems to degrade more rapidly when roughly handled and after it has been fillet and de-boned. With sushi, I try to get / keep the fish intact until I’m ready to slice it.

I think a rainbow, steelhead and ocean trout are the same…a rainbow has never left freshwater, an ocean is rainbow that has migrated to saltwater, and a steelhead is an ocean that has migrated back to freshwater to spawn.

Eamon Burke
05-14-2011, 04:43 PM
It's falling apart because the fat layers aren't elastic enough to hold the muscle layers together at the tolerance you cut it.

That means you have to either cut it thicker(which assumes the salmon was firm before you cut it), eat it sooner(so the fat will no break down), keep it colder(might have been a problem if the fish was room temp), or use a different variety of salmon.

We had salmon that would do that at the sushi bar. We called it "Spicy Salmon Roll".