Halibut (Pasty/mushy)

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Joined Mar 23, 2004
I marinated halibit in a pesto salad dressing that also contained vinegar and oil, for 30 mins, when broiling the halibut at about 10 mins per inch it became pasty/mushy instead of firm and flakey. Would you know why this would happen
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Possibilities:
1. The fish was frozen. That in itself degrades the quality of the flesh.
2. The vinegar in the marinade had started to break down the flesh.
 
3
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Joined Mar 23, 2004
The vinegar was the only solution I could come up with also. But I have marinaded halibut in a soya sauce based marinated before and it never happened then, thats why I wasn't to sure if that could of did it. I know vinegar works as a tenderizer. Its quite possible the salad dressing just had too much vinegar.
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I tend to think that your problem is the first one that Suzanne described-frozen fish. Freezing starts to destroy the flesh of fish and improperly frozen or stored fish only intensifies the problem. The problem lies in the ice crystals ripping apart the flesh as they form (this happens to some extent in beef and other meats also but isn't as pronounced as the flesh of other animals is less delicate). The more often a fish is frozen the more damage ice crystals do. Thus a fish that is improperly frozen and stored (one that is allowed to thaw and freeze a number of times) ends up with mushy flesh.

Unless your marinade was really acidic a 30 minute dunk should not have done that much damage to your fish, so unless you can account for every movement of your fish between the ocean and your plate I would look to freezing as the answer to your problem.
 
3
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Joined Mar 23, 2004
Thanks Pete.. it wasn't frozen at my end. But who knows with the grocery store. Now the store is suppose to mark previuosly frozen on the product, so if it was they (which wouldn't surprise me) were negligent in doing so
 

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