The Fisch-Gruber team from the Vienna Naschmarkt shows you in a series of videos how to filet fresh fish. Cut filets easily with this video-guide!
Please note some general tips:
- Always keep your workplace, your knife and the fish clean and hygienic.
- For cutting don’t use a too sharp knife, because you could cut the fish bones.
- Don’t try to be quick – be thorough. There should be left no meat on the bones.
Enjoy trying and working with you fish! Nevertheless cutting fish perfectly is craftmanship – many of our loyal customers estimate perfectly hand-cut filets without any bones. The procedure is different for every fish. You can see that in our videos that feature amongst others sardines, mullet, trout, salmon, char, sole, monkfish and pike perch.
The anatomy of an oyster:
The flat side is the cover, the convex side the bottom.
The round end is the front; on the peaked end (back) is the hinge.
The oyster uses a muscle to open and close its cover – that´s the power you have to overcome when opening the oyster. You find the muscle about 2/3 from back to front and 1/3 from right to left.
How to open an oyster:
Open with intelligence – not with force!
Therefore it is best to look for the shortest way to the muscle!
- Set your oyster knife between cover and bottom. When you don´t find the spot immediately, scratch away some material from the shell. So you see the spot better.
- Start to wield the knife with screwing movements (without force!) between cover and bottom. Note to guide the blade with your fingers!
- If the blade is inside the oyster, insert it until you reach the muscle. Cut it – now you can easily raise the cover.
- Look into the oyster from the side and cut the upper muscle carefully. Now you can remove the cover completely.
- Remove any splinters you see.
- Control if the oyster lives: With your knife draw gently the outline of the flesh. The oyster should twitch – a sign that it is mercurial.
- Now cut the lower muscle (on the right border), that the flesh is lying loose in the shell.
- Be careful not to lose the precious water. If you already did: The oyster keeps producing it – put some lemon juice on it and leave it for some minutes on ice.
- Serve it pure, with lemon, pepper, Tabasco, parsley or shallots – as you like.
Important: Hold the knife correct! Only if you hold it correct you can prevent bad injuries von hand and fingers. Never hold the knife back at the grip! Hold it in the front, guiding the blade with your thumb (like on the right picture).
Tip: The method described here is safer. A possible disadvantage is that splinters get into the oyster easier and sometimes the bottom shell breaks. Another method is to force the knife into the oyster at the hinge. We don´t recommend this, because the danger of injuries is much higher! Moreover, like this you have to use force against the muscle power of the oyster (which can be actually quite remarkable) and the knife can break when inserting.
How long a fish stays fresh, depends on numerous factors:
- Seafish usually stays longer than freshwater fish
- Fat fish (e.g. Eel, Mackerel) decays faster
- In winter, fish are less active in their habitat, therefore the stay longer fresh
- Gentle and quick processing (catch, killing, cleaning, gilling) after the catch preserves the quality
- Constant storage temperature
- Whole fishes should be gilled, the blood on the spine should be removed carefully. When stored at home also the gills should be removed.
Of course, seafish can´t be in Vienna the same day it is caught. But the transport is faster than you might think: Fish from Marocco is 24-36 hours after the catch in our display, fish from southern Europe after 12 hours.
Fish from Austrian freshwater fishery is brought to us living – they come with maximal freshness into our display.
As a benchmark for durability of fish you can assume:
- Filet should be consumed within 2 days.
- Whole fish should be consumed within 2-4 days (depends when it was killed).
- Filets to be consumed raw should not be older than 24 hours.
Please note that these are only benchmarks, assuming that the cold chain and hygienic procedures were followed, and are without warranty!
If you are not sure that you can prepare your fish immediately after buying it, maybe freezing would be a good solution. Fresh fish and filets can be frozen easily and without loss of quality. Please note, that small freezer compartments are not equal to deep freezers. When freezing, the fish should be packed dry and airtight. Frozen fish has – depending on the freezing system and the type of fish – a durability of 6-12 months.
Please note, that when cooking fish you should reach a core temperature of 70 degrees Celsius (158 F), to kill most bacteria. With deep-frying all bacteria are killed.
That´s how you handle fish correctly – from transport and storage to hygiene
When buying, check the correct storage of the fish in the shop. Fish should be presented on clean ice and also be covered with fresh ice, to guarantee cooling on both sides. A closed cooling system provides constant temperatures between 0-2 degrees Celsius.
For the transport your fish will be packed tightly in paper. In the past people did that with newspapers – nowadays we use coated transport-paper, which is solid longer when getting wet. Paper isolates extremely good! Therefore you don´t have to worry about transports up to 4 hours (even in summer). When you transport your fish for a longer time we recommend you dry ice packs, that provide over 6 hours a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius. So, even long transports can be done easily. Important: Protect you package from direct sunlight. Because ultraviolet light penetrates the paper and it can get very hot inside. Also aluminum-isolated bags are a good way to keep you fish cool.
If you want to, you can take your fish with you living! Either we put some water into a plastic bag or you bring you own suitable transport case.
Put the fish as soon as possible into the refrigerator. Please note, that especially older fridges are cooling less constantly.* Always put the fish in the coldest part of you fridge.
Important: Get the fish out of his paper wrapping! Wash it carefully with cold water, dab it with a clean cloth and put it on a porcelain plate. Finally, cover it with clingfilm. Wash your hands carefully before and after handling with fish.
The durability of fish depends to a large extent from the hygiene applied in handling and in the fridge. Dangerous bacteria are seldom in the fish itself. Bacteria in the fish cause bad scent, but are mostly harmless. A real “fish poisoning” comes from germs that are transferred from humans onto the fish and find a good environment to breed there.
Ask for our delivery dates or look in the section “Frisch eingetroffen” (delivery notification), what fish came in fresh. If possible, consume your fish the same day you bought it!
We also recommend the great Information of the “Deusche Institut für Risikobewertung” in german, including many pictures: http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/208/wie_frisch_ist_der_fisch.pdf
* Older models dry the air, because the evaporator takes humidity from the air and doesn´t give it back. Moreover, these models cool with a minimum and a maximum temperature, meaning that there are noteable temperature fluctuations. Modern digital devices cool constant and don´t dry the air. With those you don´t have to worry – they can hold temperatures from 0-2 degress Celsius easily. But also in modern fridges not all areas have the same temperature!
Fish will only deliver it’s full culinary potential, when it is perfectly fresh. With our tipps you will easily recognize the freshness of your fish of fish fillet.
When buying filets:
Filets should be compact, shining, smooth and elastic. Their scent should be clean and neutral. When pressing with your finger, there should stay behind no marks. To be sure, it is always best to get fillets from a whole, fresh fish!
When buying whole fish:
Watch the scales: They should be shiny, not matte. The eyes should be clear and convex – never concave and grey.
The overall impression should be good, by this you can see the difference in quality very food (no scratches or marks on the body – signs for trawls or industrial fish).
The scent also says a lot about quality. It musn´t be intrusive, but should be clean and neutral – with a slight touch of grass and sea. A bad smell develops approx. after the 5th day. If you want to be sure, smell the gills and the abdominal cavity. There a bad smell develops first – even if a fish smells here, it is still eatable.
Also an inspection of the abdominal cavity tells you a lot. The inner side should be smooth, shining and plain. Have a good look at the gills too! Freshly caught fish has shiny red gills with a round outline. Also matte red or pale gills indicate fresh fish (the ice for cooling washes out the blood in the gills).
The gills should never ever be green, yellow or brown with fainted outlines!
Ask for our delivery dates or look in the section Frisch eingetroffen, what fish came in fresh. Fisch-Gruber has fresh fish every 48 hours!
If you have any doubts, feel free to contact us! Because when it comes to fish, you can trust us.
Please note the great Information of the “Deutschen Institutes für Risikobewertung” in German, including many pictures: http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/208/wie_frisch_ist_der_fisch.pdf
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