I eat fish a lot. In fact, I like it better than pork, beef and chicken. Maybe for health reasons. The latter three are often related to health problems while the first one is often not. Even if I am eating fish a lot, there are things I never like. Maybe they are thing we never like.
1) Lots of fish bones. Whenever our menu includes fish, I am telling my wife to be very careful in feeding our toddler. I never want him to be a victim of fish bone pricking. It is painful and or very uncomfortable.
I have uncountable experiences of fish bone dislodging in my throat. Those experiences have made expert in fish bone sorting using my eye and fingers. Then my tongue is sensing it while chewing the meal. I am eating slowly whenever the meal includes fish. Fish bones still slip every now and then.
2) Disagreeable smell. It is the normal fish smell, malansa. It is not nice but not a big problem to deal with. It can be remedied easily during preparation. For the species with persistent hard-to-remove smell, a spice such as ginger is an easy solution.
3) Degrading flavor. Fish is best when fresh. The unfrozen fish from public market taste great when sprinkled with salt and fried in golden cooking oil. The same fish, if frozen before frying taste far below from before. The fried fish by morning will have a different taste by lunch. Its not for the better but for worse.
Let us accept the fact, the most tasty menu on dining table are livestock and poultry meats. The next is fish and the least is vegetable. Some fish have superior flavor but their prices are too steep for commoners.
This is also affected by tradition. Every occasion like town fiestas and weddings have three or more meat dishes and only one vegetable. Serving fish is a rare case. This is the common practice because most people prefer meat dishes over the other.
We have been to my friend in Nasugbu, Batangas. It was fiesta. We stayed there for one day. We ate fish all day long. No meats and veggies. His father was fisherman. Serving all fish was not surprising at all.
Assessing the Freshness or Spoilage of Fish by Sensory Evaluation
The best method of assessing the freshness or spoilage of fish is by sensory evaluation techniques. It is recommended that appropriate sensory evaluation criteria be used to evaluate the acceptability of fish and to eliminate fish showing loss of essential quality provisions of the appropriate Codex Standards. As an example, fresh whitefish species are considered unacceptable when showing the following characteristics:
Skin/slime — dull, gritty colors with yellow–brown dotting slime.
Eyes — concave, opaque, sunken, discolored.
Gills — gray–brown or bleached, slime opaque yellow, thick or clotting.
Odor — flesh odor amines, ammonia, milky lactic, sulphide, fecal, putrid,
Remove Fishy Flavor Using Ginger
Do you love fish but hate the fishy flavor ? Worry no more! You can eliminate the culprit fishy flavor by means of ginger.
Ginger can be made to wine, tea (salabat) and candy. Its main use is to spice many of our daily meals.
Another purpose is removal of fishy flavor in fish and other seafoods. Add a couple of ginger slices in any of your seafood recipe (fishball, sinigang, fish kikiam, embutido, relyeno etc…) and compare the difference.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.