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Old 06-08-2005, 12:04 PM   #1
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Red Snapper Curling during cooking

I purchased some frozen Red Snapper fillets and for some reason they curl up during the cooking process (no matter how i cook them). After its cooked, the fillet is rubbery and tough. Is it because the fish is old? help.

thanks,
joe

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Old 06-08-2005, 12:17 PM   #2
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Not sure why it's doing that. I had red snapper for about 7 months in the freezer that we caught down at the coast. We fried some and baked some and it didn't curl. But, wait, someone in here WILL know what is going on.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:23 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site gonzojoe! I am just guessing here, but I bet if your scored the fish (Slice a few shallow slices) then it will not curl or at least not as much. As far as it being rubbery and tough that sounds like the fish was overcooked. Try cooking it much less and you should be OK.
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:25 PM   #4
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I'd venture to say that the filets still had skin on them. The skin will shrink at a different rate than the flesh, causing curling. Do what GB said. Score the skin side.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:07 PM   #5
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I tried the scoring

Yes, it does have the skin on it and I have tried the scoring and this did not work. As for it being overcooked, the rubbery texture almost immediately shows up. the only thing i can think of is that its been frozen for too long. My supplier says otherwise, of course.

thanks,
joe
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Old 06-08-2005, 08:30 PM   #6
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The fish is old and/or was frozen for too long. Also, you may not have cooked it at a high enough heat level. If you pan sear it, you need to get the pan and oil smoking then add the fish skin down. If you grill it then it needs to be on high and/or over the hottest part of the grill. You shouldn't have to cook it more than 2-3 minutes per side. Any more than that and it will be overcooked.
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:47 PM   #7
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Well, Joe, with you being in Corpus I doubt the snapper was either too old or frozen for too long. It's always a possibility - but not very likely where you live.

As for curling: maybe you are not making the scores long enough? They really need to extent most of the way across the width of the fish.

As for rubbery: how are you cooking it?
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:08 AM   #8
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Even though Corpus Christi is on the coast, many restrictions are put on commercial fishing, so many seafood products that restaurants purchase come from different areas of the country. This fish comes in frozen in 10-11 oz fillets.
The cooking methods used are: Blackened on a cast iron skillet (very hot), on a radiant charbroiler. We always lay the fish down on its skin side first. As I said before, we can always tell if the fillet is going to be one of the duds within the first minute or two of cooking.

Joe
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Old 06-11-2005, 11:55 AM   #9
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I think there are two possible explanations:
First, I've noticed over the years that fish (especially "snapper") from different regions have distinctly different cooking characteristics, especially in regards the sking curling. Snapper from cooler northern water tend to flatten out relatively easily, requiring just a little pressure initially at times to keep from curling. Snappers from water water, especially South America, tend to curl much more and require more effort to keep flat (assuming you're coooking them skin on). The best trick I've found is to put the fish skin side down into a hot pan, quicky put a piece of parchment on the meat side (to protect it) and then put some weight on the fish, usually in the form of another saute pan that will nest deep enough in the one you are cooking in that it pushes the fish flat with some weight in it (like a can of something). The extra weight can be removed once the fillet remains flat.
The second possible explanation is that you were sold something other than real red snapper. "Snapper" is one of the biggest grey areas in the fish industry, and often a fish will be called snapper to enhance it's salability. You could have been sold a less desirable fish, which might explain the rubbery quality of the meat.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:11 PM   #10
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Same problem in New Braunfels

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzojoe View Post
I purchased some frozen Red Snapper fillets and for some reason they curl up during the cooking process (no matter how i cook them). After its cooked, the fillet is rubbery and tough. Is it because the fish is old? help.

thanks,
joe
I know I'm replying TEN years later, but... I have had the same exact problem. I cooked snapper a hundred times and it was delicious, then suddenly, every time I tried it, I got a curled piece of rubber. We call it "boot fish" (tough like a boot.. I have tried grilling it, blackening it, baking, pan frying, with skin, without skin, and the list goes on and on. I would buy mine from HEB in the fish case previously frozen, same as I always did. I asked them if their distributor changed but they were not sure. I haven't bought snapper for years until today from Central Market and I'm hoping I don't get those results. I am sure I am not overcooking it or using a bad technique because I cooked it sooooo many times successfully before this started. I am convinced it's not real snapper. Good luck!
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