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Canning fish?

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apicius9

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O.k., I get plenty of fresh fish out here, and I do take advantage as much as I can. But one thing I had discovered years ago was the incredible canned tuna in good olive oil that you get in Spain, and I have to admit to a weakness for good canned tuna. Since I get fesh tuna here for reasonable prices (cheaper than the cans from Spain...), I wanted to give it a try and can some myself. Has anyone done that? The process seems pretty straightforward with a pressure cooker, just wondering what kind of olive oil you use and what kind of additions make it even better - garlic, herbs, peppers? And while we are at it, does it make sense to can any other fish? I haven't seen canned opakapaka or opah before...

Stefan
 

JBroida

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O.k., I get plenty of fresh fish out here, and I do take advantage as much as I can. But one thing I had discovered years ago was the incredible canned tuna in good olive oil that you get in Spain, and I have to admit to a weakness for good canned tuna. Since I get fesh tuna here for reasonable prices (cheaper than the cans from Spain...), I wanted to give it a try and can some myself. Has anyone done that? The process seems pretty straightforward with a pressure cooker, just wondering what kind of olive oil you use and what kind of additions make it even better - garlic, herbs, peppers? And while we are at it, does it make sense to can any other fish? I haven't seen canned opakapaka or opah before...

Stefan
i always rub the jars with gin in the inside to sterilize and for the taste... you can use the pressure cooker to make life easier, but its pretty straight forward

i use Sicilian olive oil cause i like the strong flavor and i add salt and a bit of sugar
 

El Pescador

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I get canned blue fin belly in olive oil from my neighbor who's son is a tuna boat captain. It is truly amazing. Eating it gets you closer to God.

Pesky
 

goodchef1

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Hello Stefan,

Actually, canning foods are not an ideal way to preserve foods. It is done for mass production, transportation, many different temperature changes, etc. etc. New technology out there like sous vide (under-vacuum) would be best to do what you want.

Tuna is best used because of the firm flesh, which does not break down during long periods of storage, it also keeps its volume. rule of thumb, if you are going to marinade for short periods, you can use herbs, spices, etc. if for much longer periods,do not keep whole pieces in marinade. cold infuse the oil and strain. Whatever flavors you want to impart in the flesh, you can use. So experiment!:biggrin:
 

cnochef

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Actually, canning foods are not an ideal way to preserve foods.
Hmmm...I'm not so sure about this advice, how long have you been a chef and did you ever spend any time around your Mom or Grandmother when she was harvesting her garden and canning?

The kind of canned tuna that Stefan is referring to is an excellent product!

Stefan, I would recommend that you make an infused olive oil to pack your home-canned tuna in. Put extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan on low-medium heat and add kosher salt, fresh dill, garlic and crushed chili flakes. About 45 mins should be enough to infuse the oil, then strain it through cheesecloth, cool and use.
 

Andrew H

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Hello Stefan,

Actually, canning foods are not an ideal way to preserve foods. It is done for mass production, transportation, many different temperature changes, etc. etc. New technology out there like sous vide (under-vacuum) would be best to do what you want.

Tuna is best used because of the firm flesh, which does not break down during long periods of storage, it also keeps its volume. rule of thumb, if you are going to marinade for short periods, you can use herbs, spices, etc. if for much longer periods,do not keep whole pieces in marinade. cold infuse the oil and strain. Whatever flavors you want to impart in the flesh, you can use. So experiment!:biggrin:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but sous vide does not preserve food, like the canning method does.
 

sashae

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I can pretty extensively (jams/jellies, pickles, stock, etc) but have never tried fish in oil. How is it normally processed, under a pressure cooker? Is the fish canned raw or cooked somehow?
 

JBroida

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I seem to remember that the fish is canned raw and the closed can is cooked. Might be wrong though....
i've tried both ways... results are similar

we used to boil it out in a mix of sugar, salt, and water and then can or sometimes just can raw and cook
 

apicius9

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Thanks for the tips, everyone. I had googled for instructions on canning tuna and most of them go in the same direction, this is the one I bookmarked: http://www.giovannisfishmarket.com/articles/Recipe-Canning-Albacore-Tuna.aspx But I was thinking about adding more good quality oil to it and I like the idea of using an infused olive oil. I understand that sous vide would be a great way to prepare it, but I am looking for longer storge, just to have some around. Using tuna belly sounds like a great idea also, maybe this is my excuse to get a whole fish and play with my unused deba... I feel a little apprehensive about butchering a nice whole fish, I wish I could do it while someone is looking over my shoulder who knows what they are doing... In any case, this will go on my list of projects after the semester ends.

Stefan
 

goodchef1

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but sous vide does not preserve food, like the canning method does.
Depends on the packaging material used. I don't know if Stefan, plans to keep this for long extended periods, but you can preserve products with this type of method for quite awhile. Many products are being packaged and sold using this method, making freezing, chilling, reheating more efficient, even used now by military. :wink:
 

Eamon Burke

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I think canning it is a great idea, but for the olive oil, don't put garlic in it. There are problems with keeping root foods from growing botulism that they might be carrying. You can acidulate the garlic by boiling it in vinegar, or kill the possible botulism by roasting the garlic(swell idea IMO). But why do people want to get in the way of a great piece of tuna?! Just can it!
 
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