SWEETENING FISH FILETS: From Montana Grant
By Kjel


How many times has someone told you that your favorite fish recipe “tastes fishy”? Here’s a great trick to clean your fresh filets and enhance their flavor. Once you soak your filets in this mixture, you will be amazed at how much “crud” comes out of the filet.

Many of our rivers and lakes in Montana carry “consumption warnings”. The MT FWP suggests that you limit your portions and frequency of fish meals. What folks don’t realize is that Montana watersheds harbor a lot of mercury, lead, and other pollutants. A lot of these come from the geothermal features in Yellowstone and our state. Of course the toxics from the mining adventures haven’t helped.

I often filet and skin the fish. You also want to remove the fins, belly trim and skin. These “fatty” areas are where a lot of the pollutants end up. By removing them, you improve the quality of your catch. Older fish such as walleye, pike, and lake trout end up with more toxins over a longer lifetime.

Think about where your fish are coming from. If the area is polluted, like the settling ponds near Anaconda, eat hamburgers instead. Many of our high lakes are stocked to produce great sport and meals. If trout are what’s for dinner, then enjoy them fresh. I dispatch the fish quickly rather than hang it onto a stringer for hours. Ice the fish immediately. Here’s the way to SWEETEN YOUR FILETS!

  • Mix 3 tbsp. of table salt and 2 tbsp. of baking soda into 1 gallon of cold water
  • Submerge the cleaned/fileted fish into the solution. You can hold them down with a plate
  • Refrigerate 4-6 hours
  • Rinse with cold water and drip dry on paper towels

Once you do this, you will be impressed by the lack of “fishy flavor” and how much crud was removed from the fish that is no longer on your plate!

One of my favorite recipes is to put dry complete pancake batter into a zipper bag. I add Old Bay seasoning and shake and bake the fish. Lay them on wax paper for up to ½ hour. I get the oil hot and drop in the coated filets. When they float to the top, they are done. Lay them onto paper towels. A bit of tartar sauce and tomato on a fresh bun and you will enjoy the best fish sandwich ever!

 






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