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Old 07-19-2009, 04:55 AM   #1
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Help with cooking a fish fillet that has crispy skin

Hi,

I had a fine dining experience, where I order a sea bass fillet with some saffron butter sauce and asparagus. The skin on the fillet was crispy and the whole thing was a delight.

I managed to get my hand on some brim fillets with the skin on. I put them in a pan skin side down, and they just curled immediately. Then I tried putting them in a pan fillet side down, wait for it to get done and then turn the fillet on the skin side. It still curled.

Do you know how to do it so the skin doesn't cause it to curl? Instead resulting in a crispy skin fish fillet? Can you recommend any recipes?

Cheers,
Kalmen

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Old 07-19-2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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Not that I've tried it yet, but on TV I've seen the skin scored on a diagonal about 3 times to keep it from curling as it crisps.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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There are two things you can try.

1) As Arky suggested, it's always a good idea to score the skin diagonally 3-4 times (depending on the length/size of the filet) approx. 1/4"-1/2" deep (depending on thickness of filet).

2) Right after you place the filet, skin side down, in the pan, using a spatula, gently hold it in place with LIGHT, GENTLE pressure for 30 seconds or so.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:04 AM   #4
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Kalmen - I would do the scoring on the skin, but something else that might work for you is to use one of those "bacon press" weights (or a simile) on top.

Bacon Press - Compare Prices, Reviews and Buy at NexTag - Price - Review

Bob
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:48 AM   #5
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A bacon press is way too heavy to be used on fish. Light, gentle pressure with a spatula just until the scored fish adjusts to the heat of the pan is all that should be necessary. No need to crush it.
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:48 AM   #6
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Hi All,

I scored the skin as Arky, BreezyCooking and CasperImproved suggested and lightly pressed it and it worked like a charm! Thank you!

I'm liking this way of cooking fish... It's fancy.

Cheers,
Kalmen
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:30 AM   #7
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I've had the same problem with small fish, I think it was perch. I'm wondering if skewering it with a bamboo skewer would help? I haven't been able to get ahold of it lately, so haven't been able to experiment.
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