Mackerel – Brining the Fish

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 36,158
    This video shows how to cook mackerel, specifically brining the fish.

    Barton Seaver: Hi, I am Barton Seaver. Today we are cooking with Mackerels. This is one of my favorite dishes. Its a Pan-seared Mackerel Fillet with toasted Almond Potatoes and a Lemon-Garlic Gremolata. Now in this segment, what I am going to be showing you how to do is brining the fish. Brining fish, I think is one of the most important things that you can do as it adds so much moisture, so much flavor into almost anything. In fact the only fish that I dont brine is Tuna, just because it changes the color and the texture of the outside, but Mackerel bears very, very well with brining. Its very simple to do, only takes about ten minutes. So what I have here is approximately 3 or 4 cups of cold water. Now cold water is important because you dont want to warm the fish up and possibly cook it. I also have salt and sugar. I have about two tablespoons of salt and one table spoon of sugar, which is a good ratio. What we are trying to do is make a mixture that tastes a little bit like sea water.

    Now what brining does to the fish is that it draws out some of the proteins as well as sort of injecting a little bit of moisture into it as well as seasoning the fillet all the way throughout. So you get a better flavor that taste more like it is, sort of highlights the freshness of the product as well as it gives you a little bit more leeway in the cooking of it. Its a little bit more forgiving before you end up with dried out fish. So as I said we have about four cups of water, about two tablespoons of salt, one table spoon of sugar. Now I tend to use kosher salt because it dissolves very easily as well as it has a real good texture to the finger. So you can actually physically tell how much salt you are adding into it. Once you get trained to using one salt, it becomes very difficult to use another kind. So kosher salt, a little bit of sugar, mix that in there. Now dont be afraid of salt. I think one of the greatest mistakes that most home cooks make is two-fold. One is that they use too much heat, slow down, cook things slowly and they dont use enough salt. Salt enhances natural flavors, makes things taste more like what they are. So I am just going to spend a few minutes here, just trying to get that salt and sugar dissolved in there and its not wholly important to get all of it dissolved because that will happen over the course but -- and then we will take our Mackerel fillets, we have boneless Mackerel fillet with the skin still on. I will just lay them in the water, its that simple. Now well just let them sit in there for -- Mackerel fillet about that thick, probably take about 5-7 minutes and once they are done, well pull them out and just pat them dry with a paper towel and set them, we are ready to start cooking.