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Want to eat fish but...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have finally been able to develop a liking and wanting for fish. Unfortunately, my choices are restricted to fillet / bone less fish. Reason for this is I have had a couple of nasty accidents with those pin bones.

These are apart from multiple scratching of my food pipe. I have had one scratch my gums (while I was moving the food around) and the other went in under the tongue and speared it.

As of right now, my choices to eat fish happen to be the huge fillet of salmon / tuna that are avaiable de-boned at super-markets. or the canned variety in which the bones have the consistency of a wet tortilla chip.

I think I am missing out on a lot in terms of culinary experience of a fresh fish prepared whole. Any ideas / suggestions / methods to eat for this converted non-veggie would be appreciated.
post #2 of 5
It's not as sad a situation as you think. The good news is that you can find and remove any remaining pin bones from fillets before cooking. All you have to do is run your fingers along the edges of the fillets, from the outside in, and you are likely to feel any remaining bones. Then you can pull them out with tweezers (I keep tweezers in my kitchen just for this purpose). It's a little more difficult to do this with, say, trout, because there are just so many fine bones. And don't even THINK of trying it with shad! :eek: But if you can get fillets of halibut, cod, scrod -- these are BIG fish that are usually cut into portions from big fillets that were already well-boned. (Chilean sea bass is another such fish, but I can't recommend it because it is on too many endangered lists. :( )

But yes, fish cooked on the bone is so much tastier. Here, the good news is that if the fish is cooked properly, the bones are easy to remove. After you cook the fish, cut off the head, tail, and dorsal fins (along the back or "top" of the fish); slide a broad knife (dinner knife is fine) in from the dorsal end and run it along on the top of the bones -- you should be able to feel the bones underneath the flat side of the knife blade. Cut the whole length of the fish, then use the knife to flip the fish open like a book. You can lift off the skeleton. Run your fork across the remaining fillets, along the surface, and you'll dislodge most of the remaining bones. Just pull them out and enjoy your fish!

The flip side is little bitty fish, like smelts: the bones of really tiny ones, especially when fried, are edible as is. Just chomp away!

One more thing: take small bites and eat slowly! This sounds a little too motherly, maybe, but if you do, you'll feel the remaining bones before they have a chance to do any damage. Work them gently to your lips and (discreetly :look: ) pull them out of your mouth.

Welcome to the wonderful world of piscavores! :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanx suzanne

tried your suggestion about eating slow

the only thing is that I then am concentrating more on the bones than the nice taste of the food that I am eating

also any other thing i.e. the crispy coating (say of batter or nuts) gives me false positives and then a bone actually goes thru to my gullet. pretty much an end of meal for me.

but I guess that's the only way to eat fish. was curious how do chains like McD or BK get their thin fish slices without bones...?
post #4 of 5

buy fish tails, they are naturally boneless. also, run your hands across the surface of the fish to find any pinbones. its good advice, although i am not the first to give it. a tweezer will remove bones from most fish. a good fishmonger will remove all the bones anyway. Fish cooked on the bone IS better (reiterate) but it sounds like you need the door opened first. eat what you can get your hands on, the variety comes later.

edit: McDs etc. use pieces of boneless fillet. most of a fish fillet is boneless from the get-go, the rest can be removed by cutting away the line of bones or tweezers. the biggest misconception about fillets is that the bones are randomly placed; they are always in the same place and are easy to predict and find. there wont be any mistakes after you bone your first fish or two.

post #5 of 5
Go to the Japanese grocer and buy the frozen fish there. Thaw it out gently in the fridge. Bone free, guaranteed.

You can also get it at the Korean grocer. Since you're in Chicago there should be plenty in Koreatown.
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