Tips to help you quickly clean any fish
Buy fish - this is only half the battle, because it must also be cleaned. And how to do it the fastest and at the same time not to stain everything around?
What to clean?
What is the best way to clean fish? Everything will depend on the specific type. There are several options:
- Ordinary kitchen knife. It is in every home, but using it is not always convenient, and sometimes even dangerous. In any case, the device must be well sharpened and not too large. A knife can remove large scales.
- Special device for cleaning fish. Externally and on the principle of action, it resembles the most ordinary grater, as it also has holes, into which the scales fall as the device moves along the surface of the fish. This device is suitable for the removal of small scales.
- Plain grater. It is also very convenient to use it, because, firstly, several rows of scales will be removed simultaneously, and secondly, they will not scatter in all directions, because everything remains inside the grater (if it is not flat, but has several faces).
By the way, you can make a device for cleaning with your own hands.It will take several small nails, lids of glass bottles with corrugated edges, as well as a plank. Just nail a few nails to the plank. Such a self-made device is suitable for cleaning fish with rather large scales, for example, crucian carp. Also in field conditions, you can make a “fish scaler” from a tin can by making several torn holes in its bottom.
How to clean?
How to quickly and easily clean the fish? This process consists of several stages:
- First of all, river fish should be well washed in running water, as it is rarely perfectly clean. This will remove all debris from under the scales, as well as mucus, which often interferes with cleaning due to increased slip. Rinse each carcass well. Marine species also need to be washed, but it may not be as thorough.
- Next, the fish should be slightly dried, but only slightly, that is, literally within one minute. If it is too wet, it can slip out of hands. If the surface is dry, then the scales will surely scatter in different directions, and almost all housewives are afraid of this.
- If you are cleaning fish with sharp fins or spikes, for examplezander, then for your own safety, all sharp parts should be removed with a knife or kitchen scissors.
- If you think that there are different ways of cleaning, then you are mistaken. The principle is one, there will be only a few peculiarities. So, put the fish on some surface (for example, on a cutting board), grab the tail and start cleaning from tail to head, that is, against the arrangement of scales. Hold the carcass tightly so that it does not slip. If you are cleaning small fish, such as smelt, you can take it in your hand as a whole, it will be much easier.
- After cleaning, you need to wash the fish well to remove any residue of scales.
- Then you can start gutting. First remove all the fins and cut off the head. Further from the cut with a knife, gently draw a line from the front to the tail. But do not submerge the knife too deeply, you can damage the gallbladder, and because of this, the flesh will become bitter. If you do not plan to remove the head, then first with a knife edge, make a hole about the tail (you can just place it in the anus) and gently move to the head.Now carefully remove all the entrails and throw them away (spawn, of course, set aside). Next, wash the carcass from all sides in running water to remove contamination.
The cleaning process itself is fairly simple, but there are many nuances and little tricks that will help make it simpler and faster. Here are some of them:
- It is best to clean fresh fish, that is, freshly caught, and not chilled, and especially frozen. The fact is that during life the peel is more delicate and soft, so that the scales easily and quickly leave it. Ideally, you should do the cleaning right while fishing or immediately after purchase. Even if you are not going to cook the fish, remove all the scales and keep the carcasses cleaned and gutted, it is much more convenient.
- If you are afraid that during cleaning you will be soiling all the kitchen and clothes, then you can carry out such a procedure in a plastic bag (preferably transparent, so that you can control the process) or in a basin with water so that the carcass is completely submerged in it. And you can just fill the sink or keep the fish under the tap (wet scales far from scatter).
- If you are going to clean frozen fish, then let it melt completely, otherwise the scales will not separate.
- If even after washing some of the mucus remains, then you can sprinkle the carcass with salt, and after 2-3 minutes wash it well again (salt has excellent adsorbing properties, so it will quickly absorb all that is superfluous). You can also sprinkle salt on your own hands if there is no damage to the skin.
- Small fish is not necessary to clean, especially if you are going to fry it. During cooking, its small scales will be saturated with oil and soften, and at the end of frying they will become crispy and brittle.
- If the fish has very large and dense scales, then try to remove it with your fingers, sometimes it is more simple than standard cleaning with a knife or special tools.
- To make cleaning (that is, to hold the device and carry out all movements) preferably with a working hand. That is, if you are right-handed, then do it with your right hand. And left-handers will be much more comfortable and more familiar to use their left hand. In this case, the other hand should fix the carcass.
- If the scales are tight to each other, then you can pre-separate them from each other with a knife.But it is important not to damage the skin, otherwise you will not only not simplify the process, but also complicate it.
- It will be much easier to clean fish if you open your mouth and fix it in this position. To do this, you can simply put a toothpick or a match into it (if the fish is small).
- Small scales can be removed with salt or sand (if you decide to do cleaning right on the river). Simply sprinkle the carcass from all sides and rub it well, and then carefully wash it under a strong stream of water.
- If the carcass slips out of the hands, fasten it. To do this, you need a board (any, you can take an old cutting machine) and an awl. Pierce the carcass with the awl just above the tail and pin it to the wooden surface immediately. Now you do not have to hold the fish by the tail.
- If the knife is not very sharp, then first sharpen it well.
- If the scales do not separate, try using a small trick. Just pour boiling water over the carcass or just for a minute, place it in freshly boiled water. You can also dip the fish for 10-15 minutes into hot water, then move it to a cold one, and then go on to cleaning.
- If the tail and strives to slip out of your hand, then try to wrap it with an unnecessary rag.
- To clean frozen fish after thawing is easy to clean, it is recommended to defrost it, wrapping it with paper or with a cloth. So the scales will not dry out and will be easily separated.
- If you are afraid that the carcass will slip out of your hands and you will be cut, you can clean it with the blunt side of the knife. Also, to reduce the injury rate of the procedure, you can use a fork (it, of course, you need to have an edge) or even a spoon.
- If the fish is dry, then clean it easily and quickly will not work. In this case, lightly moisten the carcass with cold water or wipe it with a well-dampened rag.
Now you know all the features and tricks of cleaning fish, so that you can accurately implement it simply and quickly.
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