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Thread: Blood lines

  1. #1
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    Blood lines

    Does anyone other than my family leave blood lines and bellies on their fish fillets when eating fish fresh? Caught some bluefish yesterday. Filleted and skinned (and I only skinned them because it's easier than scaling). Salt, pepper, butter, grill. We love the whole thing, even the blood line.....doesn't taste any different to me when it is this fresh. Also, we are so used to eating fish with bones that I couldn't tell you the last time I choked on one. My grandkids are 8 and 11 and they eat same for years with no problem. (I admit this took some practice at first). I find that I actually crave oily fish like bluefish (fresh!). Are we weird or are there others out there?? I love the idea of not wasting too, but that's not the driving force behind this. We eat fish at least 3 times a week year around and venison on a couple of the other days. Well gotta eat breakfast....pan seared bluefish and soft fried eggs.
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    I don't think that's weird. The fresh blues are really good (in my opinion) and I prefer them to spanish macks. I don't give them any special treatment either, just fillet them, skin them and don't worry about the red meat. If they were larger than a few pounds i might cut out the red meat, but on the average sized gsspp bluefish I don't think its worth the effort. I've never eaten the belly meat on blues though. Might have to give it a try. After all, redfish throats are excellent, and so are the cheeks from a lot of large fresh and saltwater fish.
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    I leave the red meat in, but my wife likes it cut out. I can't taste the difference. My guess is that my wife heard from some body that the red meat was not good, but it wasn't from me. I usually cut the belly meat out these days, just to avoid the bones - I guess I'm spoiled by having so much fish. We eat fish once a week.
    Green_Steel likes this.
    RTR anyway.

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    I always cut the red out because I think it tastes like cheap canned tuna. Of course, not everyone has as delicate and refined taste buds as I do, nor does everyone have as picky a wife as I have. She doesn't like the red meat, therefore, neither do I.
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    I try to trim away every trace of red. I'm especially vigilant if I'm going to be freezing the fish. Some fish are better/worse than others. So definitely Spanish mackerel and redfish and sheepshead. I rarely freeze bluefish, but I trim all of the dark lateral line. One fish that I always trim every speck of red from is sailcats. Great trimmed, awful not trimmed. And like bluefish, I prepare them fresh. I think that the only fish I don't trim the dark lateral line from is pompano. I usually grill them with the skin-side down. Oh, yeah -- another that I trim the dark lateral line from (which doesn't leave a whole lot) and grill fresh is Bonito. Maybe my favorite!


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    Im guessing my appreciation for all but the very fishiest of red meat on fish stems from my childhood when for some reason, i wanted to eat everything I caught, and I wanted to fish as often as possible. Going fishing meant walking half a mile to Grandpa's house and then asking Grandma if Grandpa could take me fishing. Grandpa knew that if I was doing the asking his odds of going fishing went up astronomically. So, we would load up and go, grandpa would catch his limit of crappie (he always called them specks), I would catch crappie and anything else that was biting. Frequently this meant bluegill and yellow perch, but if we were in a river or stream brook trout were on the menu.
    Since my mother refused to let a 6 year old have a fillet knife (something that I was not at all happy about) grandpa would cut the heads off of my fish and leave the rest up to me and my butter knife. So, I'd gut them and scrape scales for what seemed like forever (and end up wearing half of them) until grandpa would take my fish dust them with flour and an egg wash and fry them. I ate everything untill there was only a complete (headless) skeleton left. I thought it was great. Sometimes I marvel at how much meat is wasted by people who only take the fillets, though I'm guilty of that as well- it seems that time is a more precious commodity than fish, but I digress. I would occasionally notice a different taste on fish when I got to the lateral line area, but as a child I never associated it with anything bad. I guess that tolerance for "different" tastes is still with me, though maybe not to the same degree.
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    I once butchered a pompano while trying to filet it. I salvaged most of it and pan fried it along with the filets. Maybe it was my imagination but the bone-in pompano tasted even better than the rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbham View Post
    I once butchered a pompano while trying to filet it. I salvaged most of it and pan fried it along with the filets. Maybe it was my imagination but the bone-in pompano tasted even better than the rest.
    Ive never filleted pompano. Ive halved them and cooked them skin side down on a grill with salt and a squeeze of lemon on top, or halved wrapped in foil with butter, onions and lemon slices, baked whole (minus the guts and head) in olive oil, butter and a splash of white wine, and they generally come out delicious.

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    We often grill/bake/broil whole red snapper/flounder/pompano and others. All delicious! Nothing left but a pile of bones when done. We have even boiled heads to make fish stock. It is very satisfying to use the whole fish. When we don't eat it, we use remains for our 5 crab traps. It is kind of like trying to eat a fish you have never tried before. Don't slam it until you tried it.
    Pier#r likes this.

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    I've tried many fish whole, skin on, and filleted. I usually can't tell much of a difference.

    That said, when I clean fish I always fillet entirely as well as removing any dark red meat. I tend to figure it can't hurt for me to go the extra mile, especially when I am planning to freeze. One thing I do not enjoy, is bones in my fillets. Quickest way to turn off a picky eater is a bone in their fish.

 

 
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