Classic fried fish recipe | can it handle fresh carp we caught in US?

Discussion in 'Fishing and Hunting Cooking Recipes' started by fishingap, Oct 12, 2019 at 5:16 PM.

  1. fishingap

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    I’d like to share with you a classic chinese recipe for fried fish. It works for various species of bass and croaker.


    In today’s video, we’d like to try it with freshly caught carp for two reasons. First, catch-and-release is not allowed at my local lakes. Second, many people claim that carp caught in US has more “muddy” flavor than that caught in China, so we’d like to find out if this recipe can manage that.


    We’ve learned a few tips to reduce the muddy flavor.

    1. Fish carp in lakes with good water quality and bleed the fish while alive
    2. Cut the tail off, tap on the fish so that the lateral lines can be easily removed by a tweezer
    3. Avoid skin or red meat. Note that we kept skin on in the video during the cooking process, mainly to keep it tender inside without falling apart.
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    Ingredients include 3 pounds fish, 3 tbsp starch, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp cooking wine, 1 ½ tsp salt, a tsp chinese thirteen-spices, 1 egg, 1 green onion, 5 gram threaded gingers.


    After cleaning and cutting the fish into pieces as shown in the video, mix the fish with egg, diced green onion, 1 tsbp cooking wine, 1 tsp salt, ⅔ tsp thirteen-spices, and 1 tbsp all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Cover it with food wrap and leave it in fridge for about 1 hour.


    To make batter, let’s mix 3 tbsp starch and the remaining flour (1 tbs), thirteen-spices (⅓ tsp) and salt (½ tsp) into another bowl. Mix them with water until the batter drips slowly from the chop sticks.


    When we’re ready to fry the fish, set the burner on medium till the oil reaches 350 degrees. After coating the marinated fish with batter, we fry it till it turns yellow-light brown and then take it out. The key for crispy fish is to have a second fry with the burner set to medium-high. The double fry will turn the fish into golden brown and very crispy outside.


    How is the result? Let’s try. It’s very crispy outside and tender inside, much better than the braised carp we tried earlier :-)



    Warning: carp contains many small floating bones. Try a different fish with this recipe if you’d like to avoid fish bones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 5:23 PM
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  2. cchris

    cchris Member

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    It’s the place you catch them that makes all the difference.
    I had carp many times while traveling in Europe, it’s actually pretty popular especially in Eastern Europe. Up to date I ate common carp ( like the one in the video), mirror carp, grass carp, Asian carp( the one in the YouTube videos jumping out if the water), big head asian carp and a species of Asian carp that turns reddish when caught and bleeds a lot.
    Best one was from the river Danube , flowing water carp will not have a pronounced smell of mud.
    I had some mirror carp in Germany from a stock pond and it tasted pretty muddy but was ok to eat.
    Worst tasting carp I had was the one I cooked in Texas, common Carp like the one in the video, not buffalo. The fish was caught on crappie jigs while targeting crappie in a spillway. I caught several up to 15 lbs. Kept the smallest one around 3-4 lbs so I can show my friend how good carp is if cleaned and cooked properly. Looking back I wish I hadn’t. Not only did the fish ended up tasting really, really bad but the kitchen area as well was smelling like mud. I know it wasn’t just me who thought it was bad, my friend, a retired army instructor ( not a picky eater by any means) ate a whole piece out of respect for me ( I didn’t finish my piece ) he said it tasted horrible.

    05CF50BC-3CC0-45F8-98A2-5973456845E4.jpeg 7227CF18-870A-43E8-B418-61DC5AE73C08.png
     
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  3. fishingap

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    Hi Cris,

    You're the expert on this topic and thanks for the info.

    I totally agree that "It’s the place you catch them that makes all the difference". I've tried carps from Lake hodges, Cuyamaca and santee. The former two tasted much better than the latter, even though they're all lakes in San Diego.

    One difference might be in the water temperature. Lake hodges and cuyamaca have lower temperature, which may have affected carp's food source and therefore their taste.
     
  4. stuman

    stuman Brawndo the thirst mutilator

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    It's the algae that gives some fresh water fish the muddy taste. If you could filter the water, the fish will have a better taste.

    Heard they do this with the commercial tilapia and catfish in Hawaii. The fish go in clean water before they go to market.
     
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  5. fishingap

    fishingap Newbie

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    Brawndo, Good info! Carp taste can be used as one water quality indicator then:D
     
  6. Whalebreath

    Whalebreath Well-Known "Member"

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    I've had farmed Carp from India that was delicious but the crazy sharp curved rib bones were unlike anything you ever saw from a fish-they give you a dish just for the bones- yet you can tell that fileting that fish to 'clean it up' would destroy the filet it tastes great on the bone and that how you eat it.
     
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  7. fishingap

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    Whalebreath, the part you were talking about may be the "rib" or belly of the fish. No floating bone there and it indeed tastes good!
     
  8. stuman

    stuman Brawndo the thirst mutilator

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    Try eating the carp in January, when the local water cools down. The algae levels may be reduced and the fish may taste better.
     
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  9. fishingap

    fishingap Newbie

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    That's a good idea :lux:. The closest lake for me, Lake hodges, gets closed from Nov and reopens in Feb. I'll probably focus on salt water till then.
     

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