Fish and Seafood

Fish and Seafood

Fish and Seafood

Fish and Seafood Raw Versus Cooked A competitor on Chopped has presented his plate to the judges, and one of the judges (I forget if it was my nemesis Scott Conant or one of the others) asks if he’s satisfied with the way his fish is cooked. He squirms and admits that if he’d had more time he’d have cooked the fish a little longer. Haven’t these competitors ever watched the show before they got on it? Complaining about lack of time never cuts it on Chopped. One of the judges then declares that, though definitely undercooked, the fish is edible. Another judge chimes in (and this has got to be Scott) and declares, “I disagree. My fish is raw! I can’t eat this!” Maybe he doesn’t like the flavor or the texture, but why can’t he eat it just because it’s undercooked? Hasn’t he ever eaten at a sushi bar? Or is he admitting that the quality or freshness of the fish that this show with its extravagant budget has procured is compromised? While it may be safer to cook your fish through, unlike chicken it isn’t necessary.  สล๊อตเว็บตรงแตกง่าย

I was introduced to sushi long before I ever attended a cook-out on western culture, and once I’d tasted tuna raw I wondered why on earth people canned it. Raw tuna has little to no smell, the texture is buttery, and the flavor is mild. Compared to this, canned tuna stinks, it falls apart, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the pungent flavor was more responsible for morning sickness than any other single food. And so it went with all the fish I had at my first sushi experience. Then I discovered sea urchin roe, what I call the ice-cream of the sea. To my horror, I often see chefs on TV cooking it to make a sauce. That makes as much sense to me as making sauce out of ice-cream. As with ice-cream, the enjoyment of creamy soft sea urchin roe is to have it melt in your mouth. The only seafood I enjoy cooked more than raw is lobster, but I’m convinced that this has more to do with the butter than with the lobster meat itself.

A topic close to my heart is oysters. Raw oysters smell of the sea and taste a little briny. I enjoy them enhanced with a squeeze of lemon and a drop of hot sauce. A just shucked live oyster is the very definition of freshness. You can cover them in breadcrumbs and bake them if you like, but calling them Rockefeller doesn’t change the fact that you’ve turned them into little rubber balls. I did actually get sick once from eating a raw oyster, but what that taught me is not to avoid them but to be more discerning about where I eat them. That was thirty years ago and I’ve never had a raw oyster make me ill again. Not to mention that never ever have I caught anything unsavory at all in a sushi bar.

In conclusion, guess what happens when a competitor presents a celebrity judge with fish that he has actually prepared raw (ie. hasn’t attempted to supply any heat to the fish whatsoever)? These preparations are called sashimi, ceviche, or carpaccio, and with names like that the dishes, magically, are just fine. The judges not only eat them, they often compliment the chef on his choice of preparation. You may be thinking that of course it’s fine if the dish is meant to be raw, but that it’s an unsavory thing when your fish should be cooked and instead it’s raw in the middle. Well guess what? This is the method used in dishes with the word seared in the name, as in seared sesame tuna. A fish loin is seasoned and seared on the outside and then sliced to reveal completely raw fish inside. The judges eat it up!