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How to clean and carve catfish

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Unfortunately, today sellers are in no hurry to explain to their customers how catfish differ from other fish and how to contain them. And when problems begin, complaining about an unscrupulous seller is usually too late. In order to prevent such a situation, it is better to find out useful information about the catfish yourself and make an informed choice of pets.

Often in pet stores or on the bird market you can hear that catfish are almost mandatory residents of the home underwater world, as they take on part of the responsibility for cleaning it. Such a prospect, of course, cannot but like, although clarifications are needed here. Firstly, catfish cannot be full-fledged orderlies, although to some extent they will succeed. Catfish are able to collect food from the bottom, and sometimes even eat algae that spoil the aquarium. Secondly, some catfish are more likely to create problems than to help. Therefore very important take into account the type of fish.

Another common mistake novice aquarists - the acquisition of too many catfish. Rejoicing at the prospect of forgetting about cleaning their aquarium, they go to extremes. As a result, the fish feel uncomfortable due to lack of space, in addition, they themselves begin to pollute the bottom. I.e a few catfish for an aquarium up to 100 liters is enough.

What are the benefits of aquarium catfish? As you know, that aquarium in which all 3 layers of water are occupied by fishes looks harmonious and looks: upper, middle and lower. So, zebrafish can take the upper one, angelfish can take the scalar, although there are a lot of options, but the lower one usually belongs only to catfish. They add beauty to the bottomwhich is usually empty.

Choosing catfish, it is very important not to make a mistake. So, the most common, unpretentious are considered corridors (there are many varieties of them) ancistruses, loricarids. They will also be suitable for the role of partial cleaners, and will not take up much space, as adult individuals grow up to 10 cm in length (sometimes ancistruses reach 14 cm). Owners of a small aquarium should first of all pay attention to the corridors. However, there are species that seem small only at first glance.

It is very necessary to study the proposed type of catfish. Since they are sold small in a pet store, it is difficult to guess which “giant” will grow in the future. For example, brocade pterigoplicht confused with ancistruses in childhood. But in a year he will turn into a fish up to 50 cm long, which will need at least a 150-liter aquarium. The same can be said of red-tailed catfish, and he can reach a length of 120 cm and eat all fish that are smaller than him in size (usually it is almost all the inhabitants of the aquarium).

Catfish feature - lack of a swimming bladder. So, ancistrus does not have to rise into the water column at all, and corridors often swim to the surface itself to swallow air. By the way, just because of this feature, these fish swim in their own way. Therefore, in the event that Antsistrus is lying on the bottom on his back, you should not be scared - he is not dead and not even sick, but just resting.

Feed catfish taken dry and live food (bloodworm, pipe mumps). Moreover, the first is usually sold in special tablets so that it is more convenient for the fish to eat their portions. But if there are none, do not despair - catfish can do with that food, which falls to the bottom. The main thing is to throw enough of it so that all the inhabitants of the aquarium are enough.

Outlandish fish - catfish

Catfish live in almost all major rivers of Russia. They are nocturnal. During the day, catfish lie in deep whirlpools on the muddy bottom of ponds, buried in mud. This is truly a huge fish that can reach 5 meters in length and weight up to 3 centners. But such giants are rare, and getting such a trophy out of the water is very problematic. For cooking, specimens are used much more modestly - up to 20 kg. Properly cooked meat of young catfish is very tasty.

In addition, this fish has absolutely no scales, which means that during its processing the kitchen will remain clean. Another significant advantage of the catfish is that catfish lack small bones in the muscles and tail - only spinal and ribs.

How to clean catfish before cooking

There is no scale on the skin of catfish, but it is abundantly covered with mucus, which has an unpleasant smell of mud. If you do not get rid of it, then you can thoroughly spoil the cooked dish. But in general, cleaning catfish is not difficult.

  • First, the fish should be sprinkled with coarse salt (or roll in it).
  • To rub with an old sponge or napkin (you can just use your gloved hand).
  • With the dull side of the knife, carefully scrape off the salt and mucus from the skin. We must try to make the skin a light shade.
  • Rinse the fish well.
  • If the mucus is not completely cleansed, you need to repeat all the steps again.
  • In “traveling” conditions, you can clean the catfish using wood ash instead of salt.


The skin of this fish is strong, so you can safely clean it without fear of damaging it.

The catfish do not have sharp spikes on the dorsal and ventral fins, like perch or pike perch, but on the front fins (near the gills) there are sharp spikes that can be injured. Such punctures are very painful. Therefore, during operation, care should be taken, or, first of all, remove the fins, cutting them with kitchen scissors or a knife.

Gutting

After you finish cleaning the catfish, you can proceed to gutting. For this:

  • Putting the fish on its back, a shallow puncture should be made next to the head so as not to damage the insides. Insert the tip of the knife into the hole with the blade up and, slightly pulling the peritoneum with it, cut the belly from the head to the anus.
  • To open the incision and carefully remove the insides, without tearing them from the head, while trying not to crush the gall bladder - the bile that has fallen on the meat will make it bitter.
  • Trim the gills and pull them out along with the insides.
  • The inner walls of the abdomen must be well cleaned from the films.
  • Make cuts on both sides along the fins, then pull them out with your hand or pliers, starting from the side of the tail to the head.
  • If caviar is found during gutting, it must be carefully removed and then peeled off the film. This is easy to do with a regular plug. Salty or fried catfish caviar is a real delicacy.

When bile enters the meat, the pieces are most often cut and thrown away. Should not be doing that. Bile must be washed off or wiped with a napkin, and rub the place where it got into it with salt. After a couple of minutes, wash off the salt and you can safely send these pieces to the cooking.

How to separate the flesh

If necessary, separate the fillet from the bones. To do this, you first need to cut off the head. Then the fish should be laid on its side. From the tail, along the back, make a shallow incision, placing the blade of the knife parallel to the countertop, trying to make it go along the spinal bones. Then, pulling the edge of the pulp along the cut, with the tip of the knife, deepen the incision to the costal bones.

Turning the blade along the ribs, carefully remove the flesh from the front of the carcass, without cutting off from the tail. Raising the cut part of the fillet, place the knife parallel to the spinal bones and, moving along the spine, cut the fillet from the tail. Turn the carcass over and remove the fillet from the other side.

The head and bones do not need to be thrown away, they can be used to prepare the broth or for boiling out when cooking double soup.

Remove the skin

For the preparation of minced meat or barbecue skin is not needed, which means that it can be removed. It is more convenient to do this with a whole carcass of catfish, and not with a fillet filmed.

  • Previously, the fish must be washed, gutted and removed fins.
  • After that, with a sharp knife, it is necessary to make a circular incision of the skin across the body behind the gills and another one in the middle of the back along the body.
  • Grab the edge of the skin near the head with pliers and pull towards the tail, if necessary, trim with a knife.
  • Having removed the skin on one side of the carcass, it is likewise removed on the other.

You can cut the carcass into portions or remove the fillet.

It is the skin that has a strong smell of mud, so removing it from the carcass, you can almost completely get rid of this smell.

It will be much more convenient to remove the skin from the fish if it is suspended by the gills.

How to get rid of a specific smell

Soma is not always taken to cook because of the specific smell of tina that its meat possesses. Moreover, the larger and older the fish, the more sensitive this smell. You can significantly reduce unpleasant aroma by removing the skin from the catfish. To get rid of it completely, before cooking it is necessary to pour meat with lemon juice or dry white wine, soak for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

You can soak somina in milk for 2-3 hours. This will not only remove the smell, but also make the meat tastier. During cooking, it will not be superfluous to generously season catfish with spices, including allspice and black pepper.

This fish is very good in smoked form, and it does not matter, cold or hot smoking. It makes wonderful steaks for barbecue and even barbecue.

From properly cleaned and processed catfish meat, you can cook many different dishes that will not leave anyone indifferent.

Useful properties of catfish

Almost boneless catfish meat (ridge), fatty, soft and tender with a sweet taste. Before use, it is usually fried or stewed.

The catfish contains such macro and micronutrients as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, iron, zinc, iodine, copper, manganese, chromium, fluorine, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel. Catfish meat contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B9, C, E, PP. It also contains a large amount of fats and proteins, which are sources of energy for the human body.

Catfish contains all amino acids; it is valued higher than vegetable protein. By consuming approximately 200 g of fish meat, you can satisfy the daily requirement for animal protein, because the proportion of basic amino acids in fish is very high. The content of lysine amino acid is especially high in it, but it is small in cereals, therefore fish is especially well suited as a supplement to food containing grain.

The body of the fish contains only 2% of connective tissue (bones, ligaments and skin), while beef and pork contain from 8 to 10%, and sometimes more. Due to the low content of connective tissue, fish is easier and faster to digest than the meat of mammals, which is important for people with a sedentary lifestyle. Fish is useful for both children and young people who have a great need for protein in the growth process, as well as for patients.

Catfish meat is good for the health of the skin, mucous membranes, nervous and digestive systems, it perfectly regulates blood sugar, and it also contains an antioxidant.

Som also accumulates its fat in the viscera - the fat-rich liver of cod and burbot is the most famous. Fatty fish cannot be stored for long periods because fat quickly rancid.

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