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Old 05-13-2006, 09:10 PM   #1
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Salt and Fish what exactly is the problem?

This is a more theoretical question I guess but I was always curious about this? What is it about fish that you cannot use salt with it? Or at least not too much...

Ive had salty shrimp before, asian style and that rocks so I guess it can be done for fish...

Is it that the taste of fish is too delicate? but what about chicken or pork, etc. Those foods seem able to stand up to salt.

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Old 05-13-2006, 09:16 PM   #2
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I've had a lot of fish and shrimp that really need salt. What are you referring to. Even though fish are in salt water, their flesh is not salty. I don't understand.
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #3
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JP, could you elaborate more on what you're trying to convey? I use salt on every piece of fish I cook except for those that have already had salt introduced to them (i.e. bacalao, smoked salmon, etc.).
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:50 PM   #4
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Well, I guess I have to add my voice to the question, Huh?

When making tuna salad from canned tuna I don't use much salt, but a pinch. I would say that I don't use salt when eating canned sardines - but I usually eat them on saltine crackers, so I guess it's salt by "association"? Even when I smoke fish I use a little salt.

Fish can be baked in a salt crust, fish can be preserved in salt .... I'm with Ironchef - can you elaborate on this theory?
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:35 PM   #5
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Umm maybe I am not being clear. Like if there's a pork chop on my plate. I add salt this usually brings out the taste. same with a burger, same with chicken. I was under the impression you're not supposed to add salt to e..g that plate of salmon sitting in front of you, that it just mucks up the taste or something.

And I've never had the urge to put salt on say, tuna, or other oily fish. It just doesnt seem that it would help it. ANd I wonder why that is.

Ive done like blackened monkfish, which I used a pepper mixture and I can see adding some salt in that. but even then, I dont think I used it.

In a soup, sure I guess I would add salt.

I am talking more of fish than crustaceans. But even then, when you are served a lobster, do you have an urge to douse it with salt?? I sure dont.
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:52 PM   #6
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On what are you basing the assumption that you shouldn't salt fish???

Taste it with and without and decide which you like better. That's all that really matters.

Salt enhances the flavors of fish as it does the flavors of most other foods. I have never heard of any "rule" that one shouldn't salt fish.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:18 PM   #7
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JP if you really want to test your theory, try this: get two identical filet of any fresh fish, cod, hake, salmon, etc. On one piece, season on both sides with salt and salt only (don't skimp, use at least 1/4 tsp). Leave the other fish unseasoned. Pan sear both pieces of fish. I guarantee you the fish that had salt on it would taste much better.
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Old 05-14-2006, 12:04 AM   #8
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Have to agree with the previous posters that salt brings out the flavor of most dishes, including fish.

And we are certainly not salt freaks here, we usually use far less than many do.

As for lobster, when it is boiled it is generally in salted water.

(Although I love New England, am glad we no longer have to go to those terrible lobster dinners, boiled soggy lobster, steamers that were more sand than clam, what was supposed to be linguica but was badly made sausage, bland boiled potatoes, and tough corn on the cob. Sorry, this has nothing to do with salt, just had to vent.)

We make lobster two ways, baked stuffed, and lobster a l'Americaine (use Julia's recipe).

The stuffing for the baked stuff has enough salt for the dish (most of it being contributed by the hot sauce, it gives the dish a tang but we keep it below the level that most folks can taste as hot).

Generally find the lobster a l'Ameriicaine needs only a tad salt.

To me, fish is like any other food.

And salt is a matter of taste.

Am always put off by restaurants that do not put a salt shaker on the table, even though I rarely touch it, but I suppose that is another thread.

Enjoy.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:05 PM   #9
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In asia, we have salted fish.
The people will sun the fish till dry with salt.
After which, people used it for their cooking. Like cooking fried rice and claypot rice with it which taste yummy. OR just simply steam it and go along with plain rice.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:36 AM   #10
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May be I'm out of chorus....
I agree with jp....partially.
Fish has so a particular taste, that is not necessary to add any further flavour by salt. I think that the misunderstanding derives from "how much" salt we intend to use. In pork, or beef, or other meats, we can generally use as smuch salt as we like, depending on our taste. But, in fish, if we use too salt, we only taste salt, and not fish.
When I was young, I remember wonderful meals of just fished sardines on the beach, grilled on a slate. We used, for salting, just some sea water on slate: more than enough....
It's not a case that the fish in which is possible to use more salt is FRIED fish. There is the taste of oil, or of egg paste. But, in grilled, f.i., we have only the taste of fish, added only with some flavours, but always delicate. If you want to taste them, it's better you don't use too salt. Or, in the same way, too lemon. IMHO.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:44 AM   #11
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A good quality fresh fish with a naturally high fat content (i.e. tuna, salmon, yellowtail , etc.) does not need salt to bring out the natural flavors. If the fish is of good quality then it doesn't even need wasabi, soy sauce, or other accompaniments that one usually gets with raw fish. But if you cook that same fish, or any other fresh fish, you need salt to bring out the flavor. If not, you end up with a piece of food that is severely lacking in taste.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:07 AM   #12
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salt freak here...not in the amount( I don't cover food in salt) but in its proper use and variety of salts. Amazing what a few crystals of grey salt will do to a salad or piece of fish! That orange or pink salt from hawaii or utah...delicate, bright, essential to vegetables just roasted.
I used to believe that salt was salt...and it is. but shape and quality do influence subtle variations.

hey, play with your food!

yes, I salt fish
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:28 AM   #13
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I season my fish lightly with salt before cooking. A little goes a long way, though, as fish does have a delicate flavor.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:03 AM   #14
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Cooking/eating fish without salt, in my opinion, is like smelling the roses while you wearing a gas mask.
How much salt you'd use is up to your taste, and if you do not like salt then the original question is absurd, but if you do like it, then not adding the salt is absurd.
For me personally, I do not know why this is, I use more salt pound per pound of fish versus meat, or vegetables.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:18 AM   #15
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I rarely, if ever, use salt in my cooking for health reasons - prefering to add it afterwards if required. That said, I do have to admit that many sal****er fish varieties definitely don't require salt, at least not to my taste, although I don't find that true with freshwater fish, which seem to definitely be bland without it.

I also don't use salt in shellfish dishes for the same reason.

*Edited to add - why the heck does my term "sal****er" above come out in asterisks? Is the term "sal****er" profane in some way? Geez Louise - " SALT WATER".
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:54 PM   #16
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Too late RDG, Ive already scheduled a check up with my mental health provider to determine how far back my fear of salt/fish goes back. Probably goes back to my mother who fed me salty fish....
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:58 PM   #17
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Actually I do like salt, but I find I use it vary sparingly on the table. I cook with it of course, possibly in the proper amount, but then again I havent checked my medication levels lately.

And I love the other saltier accompaniments from around the world: Fish paste, anchovy paste, olives, capers, black bean paste. All that stuff...
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:16 PM   #18
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Another anchovy lover here!!!!
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Another anchovy lover here!!!!
...bread, butter, and anchovies.....
....oil, anchovies and truffles......
....lemon skin, anchovies and parsley....(on meat)...

................ ...I'm hungry..............
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:42 PM   #20
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[quote=RDG....lemon skin, anchovies and parsley....(on meat)...[/quote]

this is gremolata, no?
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