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Old 01-22-2015, 03:46 PM   #1
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Juicy Salmon

This is more of a generic question... and probably elementary for many, but I'd appreciate an answer ... ;)

So my wife and I had some wonderful (scottish) salmon last night, and the same thing that always happens, happened.

Fresh off the grill, the salmon was delicious: tender, extremely juicy, flavorful. By the time we're halfway through, the salmon begins to cool, and it's just not as juicy. Why is that? Where did the liquid-ness go?

I have also noticed this with steaks, pork chops, and any other meats: they're more flavorful and (here's that word again) juicy if we eat it right away. If we dawdle through the meal, by the time we're halfway done the meat is dry(er) and not so flavorful on the tongue.

(Yes, sometimes we "rest" the meat, but not always, and it's not clear to me that doing so does anything wonderful for it anyway.)

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Old 01-22-2015, 06:01 PM   #2
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I don't care for cooked salmon so I can't really tell you.

It got me to thinking though about most everything we eat tastes better with the first few bites, and it goes down from there to a plateau of some sort. I guess once our tastes buds wake up with a new delicious flavor they get kinda overloaded or sleepy after that. It's a well known diet trick to stop eating when the taste buds no longer sing. Now if I could only keep that in mind.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miffedone View Post
This is more of a generic question... and probably elementary for many, but I'd appreciate an answer ... ;)

So my wife and I had some wonderful (scottish) salmon last night, and the same thing that always happens, happened.

Fresh off the grill, the salmon was delicious: tender, extremely juicy, flavorful. By the time we're halfway through, the salmon begins to cool, and it's just not as juicy. Why is that? Where did the liquid-ness go?

I have also noticed this with steaks, pork chops, and any other meats: they're more flavorful and (here's that word again) juicy if we eat it right away. If we dawdle through the meal, by the time we're halfway done the meat is dry(er) and not so flavorful on the tongue.

(Yes, sometimes we "rest" the meat, but not always, and it's not clear to me that doing so does anything wonderful for it anyway.)
Especially when roasting, or barbecuing whole birds, the juices tend to leave the muscle cells (meat tissue) and migrate between the flesh and the skin. Resting the meat allows it to cool slightly, relaxing the tight protein strands, which in turn allows much of that lost liquid to re-enter the cell tissue, adding both flavor and, as you put it, juiciness.

With cut posrtions, such as steak, chops, and such, it depends on how well the meat is done. Rare to medium rare steaks need not rest, as the meat hasn't been cooked long enough to contact the protiens and squeeze all of the juice out. However, much of that apparent juiciness comes from liquified fat. When hot, it remains liquid. When cooled, it begins to solidify, making the meat both drier, and a bit more chewy. Then again, this isn't all of it, as even very lean protein suffers from this phenomenon. Chicken fresh out of the pan, while piping hot, is much more juicy and tender than if it has sat and cooled.

Happily, if you gently heat your meat, or poultry, or fish lightly, say in the microwave, just to warm it again, much of that fresh texture will come back. This works for other foods as well, such as muffins, quickbreads in general, and many veggies. Beware though, over-heating the food will cause it to become even more dry and tough, so proceed with caution.

Also, a good sauce will often add both flavor and restore that juicy mouth feel to the fish, meat, poultry, or veggie.

I suspect that as the molecules in hot food vibrate within their matrices like crazy, it takes less energy by you in the form of chewing, to break up the meat, and to release the juices contained within the meat tissues. But that's just an educated guess.

Hope this helps.

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Old 01-23-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
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Maybe due to evaporation?
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:43 AM   #5
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My guess is it may have been over cooked? Under cook it and let it rest as if it were a steak, covered and rest for 5 minutes.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:34 PM   #6
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This isn't salmon, but is very similar in texture and taste, and is from the salmonid family. I took a steak of Steelhead Trout (rainbow trout that's gone to sea, and returned to freshwater to spawn) that was completely frozen, boneless, and with the skin on. It was an inch or more thick. I placed the frozen chunk of fish into hot oil (about 370' F) and let it deep-fry for about ten minutes. When I removed it from the oil, I placed it on paper towels to absorb an excess oil, and lightly salted it.

This fish was wonderful. The skin was not fishy tasting, but had the texture of a potato chip. The flesh also had a thin, crispy outer coating. Just below the surface, the flesh was moist, tender, but firm, with the full and natural flavor of the steelhead. It was possible the best fish I've ever made.

Frying the fish created a lightly crispy shell that kept the fish moist. Adding no coatings, or seasonings kept the flavor basic and wonderful. I will be trying other fish by this cooking method. It might help you get a meal that remains juicy juicy throughout the meal.

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