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Indian Valley Meats - Alaska



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BLEEDING FISH: It is important to bleed fish so that they keep better. The easiest way to bleed fish is simply by cutting the gills. If possible, let the fish stay in the water, cut the gills and let the fish swim until they have pumped all the blood out. If you are putting the fish in the boat another form of bleeding is placing a 1/2 teaspoon of salt on each cut you make at the gills, thus stopping coagulation. Try not to let the fish "flop" as this causes bruising, especially in Halibut.

GUTTING FISH: Take the guts out as soon as possible. This will help deter spoilage and parasites from penetrting the meat from the guts.

ICE FISH: You should use crushed or shaved ice only. Pack the gut cavity full of ice, then place the fish upright, like it is swimming, this will keep the cell tissue from deteriorating. It will also stop the loss of natural purge. Try to avoid laying the fish on their side, this is important to ensure a quality product. Fish tissue "breaks" down at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the same way beef does at 72 degrees, therefore never let you fish set in the sun, keep them as cool as possible.

FREEZING: You should freeze fish as soon as possible. Place them in a freezer that reaches 10 degrees below zero or colder. We freeze our fish at 32 degrees below zero, as the quicker you freeze your fish the smaller the ice crystals will be, therefore when you thaw your fish you won't lose as much purge (natural juices).

GLAZING FISH: After you have frozen your fish, take them out of the freezer and dip them in a glaze solution (see solution below). Dip your fish 3 to 4 times so that the ice solution builds up a good glaze. The salt gives the ice elasticity and the syrup makes the solution cling to the fish. Vacuum packing is always the best way to preserve your fish.




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