Cuts of Fish and Cooking Methods

Fillet:
The flesh of the fish is completely cut from the bone in its natural form. Flat fish yield four fillets, e.g. sole, plaice, halibut. Round fish yield two fillets, e.g. cod, whiting, salmon, herring. They are suitable for poaching, shallow and deep frying, grilling and baking.

Suprême:
This term generally applies to fillets of large fish cut into small pieces or portions on the slant, e.g. suprême of halibut or turbot. They are suitable for poaching, shallow and deep frying, grilling and baking.

Goujons and goujonettes:
This term refers to fillets of fish cut on the slant into small strips approximately 6-8 cm x 1cm. Though generally applying to fillets of small fish, there is no reason why larger fish fillets may not be cut into goujons. As the name implies goujonettes are a smaller version of goujons and are cut into strips 3-4 cm x 5 mm. Both goujons and goujonettes are suitable for deep frying and shallow frying and are sometimes poached.

Tronçon:
This is a slice weighing 180–250 g cut on the bone from a large flat fish such as halibut, turbot or brill. They are suitable for boiling and grilling.

Darne:
This is a slice cut from round fish on the bone, each portion weighing the same as a tronçon. The term applies to large round fish such as cod, fresh haddock and salmon. They are suitable for boiling, grilling and shallow frying.

Délice:
A variation of fillet of small flat fish, this consists of a quarter of the head end and a quarter of the tail end of the fillet folded under, the skin side being folded inwards. They are suitable for poaching.

Paupiette:
Another variation of fillet of small flat fish, for this the fillet is spread with a fish stuffing and rolled skin side innermost. The fish stuffing — referred to as Farce de Poisson – consists of finely minced fish (usually whiting) combined with egg whites and cream. They are suitable for poaching.

Cooking Methods:

Poaching:
Poaching (sometimes referred to as shallow poaching) is carried out by covering the fish with a liquid made up of cold fish stock and wine according to the recipe using a shallow sided pan or, ideally, a special shallow two-handled oven pan made of tin-lined copper. The main characteristic of the method is that the liquid in which the fish is poached is never permitted to boil.

Boiling:
Sometimes referred to as deep poaching, this is the gentle simmering of the fish either in a court-bouillon (consisting of vegetables, water and herbs) or plenty of water containing lemon juice and salt, depending on the type and cut of fish being cooked, on top of the stove. Ideally a special fish kettle should be used.

Steaming:
Fish which is to be shallow or deep poached may instead be steamed. The method for the preparation of the fish and the additional ingredients and cooking liquid are identical.
High pressure steamers have now been introduced to give a new method of “dry” steaming. Darnes of salmon, for example, can be cooked using this method with a variety of herbs or vegetables to give a whole range of dishes for the à la carte trade.

Deep frying:
This is the cooking of small cuts of fish totally immersed in clarified fat or oil at a high temperature.

Shallow frying:
This is the cooking of small whole fish such as sole or trout or small cuts of fish in shallow fat or oil in a frying pan on top of the stove.

Grilling:
This is the cooking of small whole fish such as sole or trout or small cuts of fish under direct heat with the aid of fat or oil to prevent sticking or burning.

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