Do you want to prepare fish in a new and exciting way? If so then one of the best options is aging fish. This is a popular method of food processing for beef but it can also be used for fish. About 1.5 billion people get one-fifth of their animal protein from fish. There are so many ways to prepare fish including frying grilling, and broiling. However, the preparation methods can be just as critical as the cooking processes. That’s why aging is one method you should consider in terms of the taste/texture of the fish. it’s important to know which fish you should use for this process and the particular methods you should use to do it. This will help to provide the best results.
Dry-aging is one of the best options for meat like beef and fish. This works well with the meat’s fat. You can then bring out the flavor of the fish with strong ingredients like flavor. As always, it’s important to take steps to make your cooking as flavorful as possible. This will provide a better dining experience for your family, friends, or guests. One issue to consider is it’s critical to provide a very specific environment for the fish during the aging process.
What Exactly Is Dry-Aging?
The main methods for aging meat and seafood include the “wet” and “dry” methods. As always there’s some debate about which is better. However, in general, the dry-aging method is considered a better one. For example, if you’ve ever tried beef jerky that’s made through the dry-aging process.
This process is sometimes used for sushi. People often have the belief that freshly-caught fish is always the freshest and the best. In fact, that’s not always true. For example, a tuna steak will actually taste better after it’s gone through the aging process.
A major issue is related to the type of fish you’re producing. Some fish aren’t full-flavored until some time has passed so you can enjoy the full flavor. Another benefit of aging is it can also improve the texture. Some fish are quite tough until they’ve aged.
What’s the big deal? When you dry-age meat it helps to reduce moisture. In turn, this breaks down enzymes contained in the animal protein. This helps to release various “flavor molecules.” in turn this makes the food more savory by boosting the “umami” level.
Another benefit you get is the fish becomes more tender. It makes it much easier for humans to digest raw seafood when consuming sushi, for example. In fact, it’s interesting that raw fish is quite popular in countries like Japan and South Korea.
However, when sushi is prepared at high-end restaurants it’s often been aged. This is the type of fish you should expect to see when you dine at such establishments in Tokyo or high-end Japanese restaurants abroad.
There are different aging techniques that are used. For example, one type used for sushi involves salting, rinsing, and drying fish. then they’re placed between 2 kelp sheets. The seafood is then weighed down for a timeframe of 2 hours to 2 days. Meanwhile, tuna can get aged for 15+ days.
Top Benefits of Aging Fish
One main issue related to dry-aging is which fish should undergo this process. You should generally consume fresh fatty fish including:
You should also consider eating fresh shellfish including shrimp, crabs, oysters, and lobster.
However, there are exceptions. For example, tuna is a fatty fish. However, due to the mild flavor when it’s freshly-caught it’s a good idea to dry-age it before using it for dishes like sushi.
Meanwhile, there are other fish that are greatly improved when they undergo dry-aging. They include options like sea bream and snapper. They have a mild flavor when they’re consumed fresh. However, if they’re aged for 2-3 days then a strong flavor begins to develop.
In general, fish with more connective tissue usually get more benefits from the dry-aging process. That’s because the tissues/fibers are broken down into natural sugars.
The process of dry-aging provides several benefits in terms of the flavor and texture of various fishes. This is due to the controlled environment in which the temperature/humidity is monitored closely. This helps to produce the best results.
After the fish is delivered to the restaurant it’s then processed including a saltwater bath. It’s then wrapped up in a towel and stored for a couple of days. After 3 days the meat becomes denser/firmer due to less water. Enzymes in the fish’s muscle cells start to break down proteins, fats, and a kind of carbohydrate.
There’s also a boost in glutamate. This is one of the main ingredients in MSG and makes the savory “umami” flavor. The fish gets washed daily to prevent various types of unwanted growths like enzymes.
After dry-aging it’s best to pair the fish with ingredients like strong herbs and butter. The reason is the animal fats work well with those ingredients. The boost in savory flavor teams up well with strong ingredients.
Top Health Benefits of Eating Fish
1. Brain Function
Various studies show that eating fish can help to reduce brain-related aging. It’s normal for people to experience some mental decline as they get older. However, consuming fish seems to help lower the risk of various serious diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Scientific studies also show that eating more fish boosts the brain’s “gray matter.” This involves brain tissues that help control memory and motion. So, eating fish can provide many benefits for brain health.
2. Vitamin D
We often think of dairy products as being good sources of Vitamin D. However, fish is another one. Studies show over 41% of Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D. Fish and fish oil can help boost your Vitamin D levels whether it’s food or supplements. Fish oil capsules have been trending in recent years.
Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are critical for eye and brain development. This explains why it’s recommended that pregnant/breastfeeding women get enough omega-3s in their diets. However, it’s important to watch the mercury levels of particular fish since it could cause some health issues.
4. Heart Health
Many studies show that eating more food can help to boost your heart health. This includes a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. In fact, fish is often considered among the top heart-friendly foods on the planet. For example, various studies show that consuming fish can lower the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Fatty fish seem to be especially beneficial.
As always, it’s important to know the nutrition facts of various foods. Fish is loaded with lots of them including protein, healthy fats, and vitamins/minerals. Fatty fish have often considered the healthiest options since they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids. They include options like trout, mackerel, salmon, tuna, and herring. However, you can also get many health benefits from less-fatty fish after aging fish.