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Has anybody done a "fish tasting"

Been lurking for a while, but this is my first post. I would appreciate advice....

Here's the scenario. I have a friend who likes salmon but not mahi mahi. This got me to thinking: I don't eat a ton of fish and don't really know one fish from another. I usually base my fish choices on preparation rather than the fish itself. I'm thinking it might be fun to do a fish tasting .... prepare a few samples of different species for comparison.

1) What cooking technique would you suggest? I know different species respond better to different cooking techniques, but I would like to standardize this as much as possible. I'm also thinking that I should probably try to keep the technique simple so I don't overpower the flavor of the fish.

2) With which core species should we begin?

I live in Michigan, so almost certainly looking at frozen fish. Which means the ideal technique would start with a flight ... but that's not going to happen (yet, anyway)

Thanks!

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  1. I would go with deep fryer, pretty easy to do a bunch of pieces once you got the oil going.

    1. One way to do it might be to go for sushi or sashimi, since one needs to order several different kinds of fish and seafood by default. Obviously that would also depend on whether there's a good place in your area.

        1. I would go with a simple poaching. Not all fish is great fried (l can't imagine deep frying salmon).
          You could do the same type of broth for each fish, cooking them separately so the flavors of the fish don't mingle. Or go with a steaming method in parchment. Put the same basic stuff in each pouch, look for fish en papillote when doing a search. Then you could do several packages at once (keep the pieces of fish the same size), and will have fun at the table opening the packages. Maybe just a slice of onion, carrot, celery, a bit of salt, maybe a lemon slice or a teaspoon or so of white wine. Keep the flavors simple and the same in each package so that you can compare the different fish, not the seasonings. As one opens the parchment, the aroma is released, heavenly. I can imagine that with different fish, the aroma upon opening will vary.

          5 Replies
          1. re: wyogal

            Thanks everybody - I think wyogal wins! Love the en papillote idea. Hadn't thought about that - had been considering grilling / pan frying / broiling etc, but I think this will work better. I'm looking forward to this - we've done other tastings, such as wine, cheese, butter, and bacon. This will be a great addition to the list!

            1. re: belegund

              Thanks! I think the "what's in the package" aspect would be fun!

              1. re: belegund

                I was going to recommend poaching until I read Wyogal's post. She's right on! Clearly raw is not an option with your selection limitations, but you might try to find a good quality fish market. The difference between fresh and frozen, at least when it comes to fish, is significant. If you are near a city you should be able to find fresh fish pretty easily.

                http://burghfeeding.blogspot.com/

                1. re: belegund

                  En papillotte will be perfect. And the logistics so much easier than any other method.

                  Good call wyogal :)

              2. Fish tasting?....

                I once was the bearer
                of well-bonded letter,
                assurance of "all you can eat"
                at our local Red Lobster.

                My dear aunt had seen
                this now esteemed item
                on a fundraising drive
                on our local PBS station.

                Dear aunt placed high bid,
                with both me and my brother in mind.
                She had seen us each fish
                all throughout our upbringing.

                We arrived in mid-afternoon,
                in consideration that our ingestion
                just might tip some displacement
                from supply to the dinner crowd.

                Unknown was the tasting of fish
                that lay straight ahead of us.
                Images of butter-dripped pescies
                danced in our heads.

                But let us just say
                that within our back pockets
                we carried the necessaries
                of our own plastic bibs.

                We asked for the table
                that was closest to kitchen
                as a favor to our server,
                since there would be legwork.

                Then proceeded the pescavore carnage,
                and crabs oysters crustaceans and bivalves.
                To heighten "fish tasting", we most often opted
                for broiled, steamed, grilled, or sauted.

                This was a night without french-fries or hush-puppies.
                It was a time just for tasting of fishies.
                Though, on spur of an instant,
                we did share a cheese biscuit.

                With thanks and good tips to the staff
                we lumbered full bellies to exit.
                A night of good memories
                of good taste of good fishies.

                2 Replies