Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
|This is just a preparation of fish for sashimi, which applies to any saltwater fish in California.
1) Surprisingly the first and most important step is to invest in a good, sturdy cooler that retains cold well and can withstand regular exposure to saltwater.
2) Before you start fishing, fill the cooler with a 1:1 ratio of saltwater and ice, forming a slurry.
3) Catch a fish. Some local fish I have found good for eating raw are Calico bass, Bonito, Pacific Chub Mackerel, Pacific Jack Mackerel, Amberstripe Scad, Yellowtail, Sheephead, Deepwater rockfish (Vermilions, Starrys, Flags, etc...), Opaleye, Halibut, and White Sea Bass. Obviously individual taste can vary.
4) Kill the fish. This is achieved by brain-spiking the fish and by cutting the gills and the throat. If you happen to have some stiff wire you can cut the tail off and run it up the spinal cord to destroy all neural tissue. The nerve cord is right above the main bone.
5) Thoroughly immerse the fish inside the ice slurry in a flat position to bleed out. If done properly the fish will be very stiff and retain much of its color.
6) Scale the fish thoroughly, making sure to get scales close to the fins and the stomach. This will prevent scales from embedding themselves into the meat when filleting.
7) Clean the fish by cutting behind the head and the collar and breaking the vertebra so that you can pull the head and collar and guts off. Be very careful not to puncture any organs. If necessary make a slit down to the vent so that the head and organs can be pulled out in one continuous piece.
Wash the fish in cold water. This is the only time you should be washing the fish, as rinsing the meat can alter the flavor and texture.
9) Fillet the fish. You can go over the ribs or cut them off with the fillet. Be sure not to bend the fillet excessively.
10) Debone the fillets and skin if desired.
11) Cut at an angle across the grain and serve.
*12) If you must freeze the fish, lay the fillet flat and wrap it as tightly as you can in saran wrap as to exclude air bubbles or use a vacuum sealer.
**13) Killing and icing fish this way allows for prolonged refrigerated storage ~4 days uncleaned ~6 days cleaned
Ego non baptizo te in nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli!