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Jul 23, 2014 02:56 PM

Oversoaked flounder with sodium tripoly phosphate

I bought previously frozen flounder today @ Shoprite supermarket. I should have known better but because it looked pristine in the fish case and was only $6.99 a pound I bought a little over a pound. When I sautéed it, the fish fell apart in the pan even know I handled it gently. If you watch the attached video, towards the end they cook a filet of over-soaked pollock and the same thing that happened to them happened to me today. STP has long been a problem with scallops and shrimp but now it's showing up in filet fish with regularity. There is no easy/inexpensive test to detect its presence (because phosphates occur naturally in all living things) sio it's used with impunity. I know I posted on this subject before about a similar problem I had with some cod from Fairway Market. I made a serious inquiry there but they turned a deaf ear to the whole situation because they want to sell cheap and profitable fish.

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    1. re: C. Hamster

      $7.99 last winter. Sadly, that's cheap around here.

      1. re: zackly

        Thats very cheap for anywhere, much less fairway.

        I live in Boston and cod is nearly twice that price here.

        Fish sold that cheap is for a reason ....

        1. re: C. Hamster

          Agreed, I went in to a local fish market and the were charging $16 or $17# for fresh cod filets a couple weeks ago and it was mostly tails, not loins! I'm not eating as much fish as I would like to because of the price. Good beef is much cheaper. I bought a beautiful 2# Choice Porterhouse for $7.00 a pound this week.

          1. re: zackly

            Lobster was $1.99 a pound last summer here. Not so much now.

            But you are absolutely right that good fish is very pricey these days.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              I'm going on a charter fishing trip in a couple of weeks on Long Island Sound. I'm hoping to fill my freezer with fluke & blackfish (tautog) filets. I know these will be chemical free.

    2. "STP has long been a problem with scallops and shrimp but now it's showing up in filet fish with regularity."

      I see it listed on the labels of most frozen fish these days. It could be that previously they were sneaking it by and not listing it. Its a shame. STP is disgusting, it gives an awful taste

      5 Replies
      1. re: lastZZ

        They have to list it, by law.

        1. re: coll

          That law is broken all the time. Because there is no definitive test for added STP. Asian seafood packers are huge violators. Most of the so called chemical free shrimp from Asia contains added phosphates.

          1. re: zackly

            Well hopefully the FDA is on the case, at least in this country. Any broker I ever spoke to said it would be listed and I believed them. You can tell when you thaw it, anyway, by the excessive purge.

            1. re: zackly

              All of a sudden is see this vile chemical listed on Walmart frozen fish. I am positive it was there before, but only now is it listed....That the law was broken until Walmart was called on it

              Aldi frozen fish is no better. It shrinks by 30% while defrosting it. The STP holds water in so the fish maintains a higher weight. Thus you buy 16oz frozen fish. The weight you end up cooking is 11 oz and the final product has that chemical taste

            2. re: coll

              Seafood distribution uses very shady practices...........

          2. I wonder if it was really arrowtooth flounder. It's cheap, and turns into a horrible mush when cooked. The second time I bought it, the only thing I could do with it was make a sort of fish cake. It's a junk fish from Alaska fisheries.

            4 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              I don't kknow what species it is but I know it was soaked because it had a beautiful sheen to it like fresh fish and defrosted fish does not look like this. The industry term is "refreshing" where the soak defrosted fish in STP which greatly improves its appearance and of course adds water. I knew when I bought the filets that they were soaked but not to the degree they were.

                1. re: paulj

                  I think these are in the frozen fish case. I bought mine from the "fresh" fish case.

              1. re: paulj

                I have eaten arrow tooth flounder. Allowing that it was frozen, I was still happy with the end result. Bit mushy but not horrible mushy in my book

              2. I really try and not buy any frozen fish, having said that most "fresh" fish in retail cases was previously frozen. Since, I am on the Coast, the only fish that i freeze is fish that I have caught, or bought from a well known "fish house" when they are unloading a commercial boat.
                The seafood industry is fife with such shady practices as, mis-labeling fish, (do most consumers even know what "real" Grouper looks and tastes like?), selling "fresh" fish that was frozen and probably from Asia, selling fish with chemicals to make it look and smell "fresh", (Bright Eyes is used to keep the eyes of whole fish looking clear and fresh)
                Overall the seafood industry is the Wild West of food distribution!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ospreycove

                  Buying filets in general, snapper, grouper in particular, is difficult. Unless you have a lot of experience you have to trust your fish monger and frequently they just tell you what they've been told and want to believe. And with the chemicals available to dip, the fish look great. The problem with supermarket seafood it's usually a division of the meat department and these "meatheads" don't have the knowledge or expertise to buy correctly.