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Old 03-23-2005, 04:05 PM   #1
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Question about this marinated fish recipe

I got this recipe from Nigella's tv show but I wonder if it should have an alcohol component and whether this is really preserving the salmon...

She says to marinate the Salmon in 1/2 part rice wine vinegar and 1/2 soy sauce. Add some ginger for flavor, marinate and top w/ chopped green onions. Basically a japanese type of dish like sushi, almost.

I decided to do an online search of similar recipes while halfway through the preparation of it. After discarding the Gravalax recipes I found the majority of marinated salmon recipes called for marination AND grilling. Most of them w/ same ingredients but the addition of sake or rice win in the marination process.

After going through all the google entries I only found a handful w/ marination only and nearly all of these called for alcohol of some sort, e..g rice wine, most did not use soy sauce.

THe salmon came out fine, it tasted well, but some questions remain:

would you have used rice wine instead of soy sauce OR perhaps in addition to the soy?

how long would you marinate this dish? Nigella did not give a time frame suggesting only that you would marinate longer for less fishy taste. I went w/ 2-3 days.

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Old 03-23-2005, 04:11 PM   #2
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JP:

Sounds like you made a salmon ceviche. The acidic vinegar cures the fish and the soy and ginger flavor it.

Marinating for 2-3 days must have yielded a somewhat mushy texture for the fish.
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:16 PM   #3
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no it seemed okay on that score. main concern is/was Is this really a preserved fish? can you leave it in the fridge for two weeks?
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:13 PM   #4
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NO! It's still raw fish and won't last more than a couple of days.
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:32 PM   #5
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I would have used the rice wine vinegar AND the soy sauce - lots more flavor. Even gravlax you should only keep about a week.

This dish uses the same principle as ceviche. Does her recipe say how long it can be kept once it's made? If not that would be a good question for her.
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:45 PM   #6
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I DID use the vinegar and soy sauce. Isnt it clear from my post that I made the recipe but still have questions?

if you make ceviche. Isnt it cooked by the vinegar? But you still cant keep it more than a couple days? In the case of NIgella's recipe I think that is what happened, I made it but it was only good for a few days.
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:52 AM   #7
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Storing Fish

Store fresh fish in the coldest environment possible without freezing the fish.

Ask the market to place a bag of crushed ice next to the package of fish so that the fish never warms during the trip home. Once at home, refrigerate it immediately. If you are cooking the fish that day, keep it in its wrapping.

If the fish isn’t going to be cooked the day of purchase, remove the fish from the package. Wrap the fish in plastic wrap. Cover the fish with a zip lock baggie that is filled with ice, and refrigerate. The surface of the fish next to the ice will not freeze, but because cold air descends, the layer of ice will cause the entire piece of fish to be much colder than any of the surrounding foods in the refrigerator.

If you live on the coast, always cook the fish within three days of purchase. If you live away from the coast, always cook the fish within two days of purchase. It may not have begun to smell, but it is not perfect fish. At the end of day three, if you decide to go out to dinner or to cook something else, cook the fish anyway. Just rub the fish with oil, salt, and pepper, and cook it in the microwave, under a hot broiler, or on the barbecue pit. The cooked fish will stay in flawless condition for three additional days. Use it for a cold entrée, break it into small pieces for salads, or slice it thinly to make fish sandwiches. Return to top
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:54 AM   #8
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Marinating Fish

Fish is usually rubbed with a marinade before being cooked. Marinating accents the subtle flavors of fish. A marinade can be as simple as rubbing the fish with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon; or using an oil and vinegar salad dressing.

Fish varies in its ability to absorb the marinade. Flakey fish (salmon, halibut, sea bass, and cod, for example) absorb the marinade within a matter of a few minutes. Firm fish (swordfish, tuna, and shark, for example) have a dense texture. The marinade will penetrate only a short distance into the fish.

Marinate fish 5 to 15 minutes—no longer! If the marinade has salt, longer marinating will extract moisture from the fish and cause the texture of the fish to become spongy. If the marinade contains an acid such as lemon juice, longer marinating will “cook” the surface of the fish.

Marinating fish for hours in a salty or high acid mixture is an essential technique when creating famous fish dishes such as gravlox and ceviche. However, these recipes are not fast, and thus do not appear in this cookbook.

Always marinate the fish refrigerated. Return to top
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:54 AM   #9
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To Marinate, or Not?
Marinating fish adds flavor and moisture to the flesh, but any marinating should be very brief. If fish flesh sits in acidic ingredients for more than 30 minutes, the acid will begin to denature the delicate protein, and you'll have a mushy fish when it's cooked. Even richer flesh of salmon and tuna should only be marinated for about an hour.

Marinades include oil (extra virgin olive oil provides the best flavor) and an acidic ingredient like chopped tomatoes, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice, along with seasonings including salt and pepper. Depending on your tastes, seasonings can range from chopped jalapeno peppers and crushed red pepper flakes to fresh thyme leaves and parsley.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland
...if you make ceviche. Isnt it cooked by the vinegar? But you still cant keep it more than a couple days? In the case of NIgella's recipe I think that is what happened, I made it but it was only good for a few days.
Using the term "cooked" is a misnomer. There is no heat applied to the flesh so there is no actual cooking. Any harmful bacteria or parasites present in the fish that would have been killed by real cooking can live on in a ceviche.

The acid in the marinade changes the texture of the fish so it appearance resembles the appearance of cooked fish but it's still RAW FISH and shouldn't be kept more than a couple of days.
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:46 PM   #11
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this has been very productive discussion thanks.

One more question: why no wine or sugar in NIgella's recipe? Most recipes seem to use it. What sort of differences will the lack of wine or the presence of wine cause?
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:49 PM   #12
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JP, not sure about the sugar except to add flavor but wine would definitely add acidity and help 'cook' the fish.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:30 PM   #13
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One more post in order to clear up a miscommunication with Kitchenelf. She sent me a private email and I had to go back here to see what happened.

In my post I asked "would others have used rice wine or rice wine plus soy?" (paraphrasing)


Kitchenelf says on 3/24:

"I would have used the rice wine vinegar AND the soy sauce - lots more flavor. Even gravlax you should only keep about a week. "

But in my original post I said that I used the rice wine vinegar and the soy. It sounds like she is saying to do it in a way....in a way that I have already done. WHen she says "I would have...." To me, its like, I DID DO it that way.

SO I am still unclear on where we have miscommunicated. I was asking about using RICE WINE as an additional ingredient. Did you confuse that with Rice wine vinegar?

Still scratching my head. Please feel free to respond Kichenelf I will try to see where I have messed up..thx.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:30 PM   #14
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Adding rice wine would not make a difference to the flavor. Omitting the soy sauce would significantly change the flavor. No alcohol component (such as sake or shochu) would be necessary, since you are not trying to tenderize the dish. Other flavors that would improve the dish, would be:
  • Citrus or bottled Ponzu Sauce
  • Fresh minced Ginger
  • Fresh minced Shallot
  • Mirin or Simple Syrup. Don't use add sugar straight to the dish or else it will not dissolve properly
  • Fresh herbs such as cilantro, shiso, mint, or Thai Basil
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Old 03-29-2005, 07:15 PM   #15
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what is Mirin anyhow? I forget, is it like rice wine?
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:51 PM   #16
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It's a sweet cooking liquid, almost like a Japanese version of simple syrup. There's usually a little rice vinegar in there, but you can't taste it.
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