Skip to content

Fish Business and how to Get the Most Out of Your Fishes

Mackerel is the unsung hero(ine) of the deep. Here you learn about it, and how to remove a fillet, then how to cook it. Fast, not Fishy!

Welcome to dancing tomatoes i’m susan you’re in my kitchen in paris and today i’m going to talk to you all about fish so if you like this content subscribe and hit the like button many things about fish that you need to know number one the cardinal rule is fish needs to be cold because as it gets warm it degrades and if you want to check out more about fish check

Out my great american seafood cookbook where i explain everything but i’m going to tell you everything here too this is mackerel i’m going to show you how to get the fillets off this fish but i want to talk to you about mackerel it’s the perfect fish to eat and many people will wrinkle their noses when you say mackerel because it’s an oily fish it’s a strong fish

Well guess what it’s the cousin of the tuna it’s no oilier than tuna and its flavor is to my way of thinking finer even than tuna you can tell by the tail the shape of the tail that it’s a member of the jack family that tail tells you it’s a relative of tuna mackerel swims in huge schools it’s abundant it is inexpensive and it is filled with omega-3 long-chain

Fatty acids that’s good fat that’s the fat that that helps your brain it helps your body you want to eat that so i always counsel people to eat mackerel it’s delicious it swims in the pacific and it swims in the atlantic and in other oceans too right now though i’m going to show you how to take the fillets off this mackerel sharp fillet knife you see that’s a

Filet knife it’s got a flexible blade and i need that to get the filet off properly so the other thing about fish you don’t want to touch it any more than you have to so this has been refrigerated i got at the fish market this morning it’s been refrigerated since the minute i walked in my door and now i’m going to touch it as little as possible because my hands

Are warm and i don’t want to damage it first things first take this little fin right here and pull it up and then you’re going to make a slice right at the top of the head of the mackerel right around the fin just like that okay you need a sharp knife then go down the backbone and you need to make a little you saw that i kind of went like that to cut through

The skin the skin of a mackerel is just like silk very thin but firm okay so i’ve made my cut and now what i’m going to do i don’t know if you can hear but my knife blade needs to stay on top of the backbone as i sweep it down the length of the mackerel okay and i want to release it right here and there i have my macro fillet okay clean my knife blade okay so

That’s a macro fillet right there want to trim the belly of this you see it’s a little bit dark i want to get that little piece gone okay so i have a beautiful fillet there are bones in it and the bones go from head to tail you i can feel it they stop right here so i’m going to take the bones out so i’m do something called a v cut cut like a v cutting right on

One side of the bones right to the skin but not through it see i’m letting my knife do the work just like that there you go bones are gone now there’s a cut in the fillet but when you cook that that gonna kind of glue itself back together here we have a perfect mackerel fillet i’m gonna take the other one it’s just life in the fast lane as we call it so you

Make a cut there i made a cut at the end of by the tail you can hear that noise as i cut above the backbone of the fish i’m sweeping my knife blade above the bone to take off that fillet releasing it here by the head you can cut that now when you’re working with fish here we go you want to get these bones out of your life i have a bowl lined with a plastic bag

Because i is the minute that i’m finished here i’m gonna take those bones and any trimmings from the fish and if it’s a hot day and my my trash won’t be emptied right away i’ll put that plastic bag full of bones in the freezer because nothing’s worse than fish that sits it starts to smell fishy a few little bones in that belly and then i’m doing my v-cut again

There we go out come the bones and i have a beautiful fillet so there i have two macro filet and i’m going to show you how to cook this macro as i explained has a skin that’s like silk you can remove it if you want you don’t have to i’m going to show you how to do it though so you cut through the meat at the end of the towel right to the skin but not through it

And then with your knife like this you just pull on that skin and it comes right up there it is i always think that’s so cool it leaves the color on those skin’s gone color is still there so you decide if that’s what you want to do you certainly don’t have to and there’s nothing there is nothing wrong with the skin at all it’s not like salmon skin that’s tough

And scaly it’s just it just makes a little more refined if you take the skin away okay i’m gonna season these mackerel is delicate but it stands up to bold flavors so i’m going to give it some bold flavor and the first flavor is cinnamon so we’ve got a little bit of cinnamon here this is cinnamon from vietnam it’s the best it’s a little bit spicy and this is

Pimon despalette from the basque country it’s simply grounded peppers they are very very special it has a it has a little bit of heat that comes right at the end it’s not a very hot pepper but just enough pepper number two tell a cherry black pepper fleur-de-cell okay that’s it and these fillets then are going into some some hot olive oil where they will cook

For four to six minutes very quick there there’s a lot of talk about cooking seafood in the microwave you certainly do not need to because it cooks so quickly so i’m going to cook these and then i’m going to show you how to present them on a plate so olive oil in the pan and i use a non-stick pan because i believe in nonstick pans okay starting to heat up here

We go so the olive oil is not hot hot hot it’s warm it’s going to heat up as with the fillet and what you want to always remember about fish is it’s delicate you can make it tough by cooking it in oil that’s too hot fish is full of something called albumin which is like the same substance as egg white and you know what it’s like when you overcook an egg white it

Gets tough on the outside so treat your fish with respect okay can you hear it sizzle and the another thing about fish when you’re cooking it you want to cook it just until it’s translucent and then you want to take it off the heat because any residual heat that’s in the fish will cook it all the way through and if you overcook fish you can’t do anything about

That if you undercook it no problem you can always put it back to cook it a little bit longer something like mackerel you want to cook all the way through you don’t want that sort of half cooked half raw thing that’s not necessarily the best way to eat fish so i wait until it’s cooked on the bottom and it’s firm and it will hold together and then i’m gonna flip

It very carefully okay oh yum and i’ll leave it on the it’s protected a little by the color on the skin side what used to be the skin side so it’s kind of yummy and crispy looking so with the excess oil the oil that it’s giving up in the mixture of olive oil and spooning that oil over the fish which helps it cook evenly whenever you’re cooking fish you want to

Take it out of the pan and put it on a plate to sit because fish always gives up liquid and that liquid is not flavorful not particularly interesting especially if you’re going to serve it with a sauce of any kind because the liquid will get into the sauce and it will denature your sauce so i always take fish out of the pan put it on a plate and wait for three

To four minutes so you can see right here this fish has given up some liquid now i’m ready to transfer it to the actual plate okay one fillet two fillet and when you have fillets particularly mackerel you always cross them i honestly don’t know why but it’s so pretty that i always do it and that’s how i learned to do it okay we’re just about finished but i wanna

Just a last little detail got these beautiful pistachios and i’m just going to mince them up as a garnish they are going to be perfect with this beautiful mackerel here we go and finally a filet of extra virgin gorgeous olive oil and a tiny sprinkling

Transcribed from video
Fish Business and how to Get the Most Out of Your Fishes By Dancing Tomatoes