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About catfish

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I have yet another question, this one about catfish.

I cooked some catfish for the first time yesterday (I've never had it before) and it was pretty good except for one thing. There were a few thin, white, elastic-like strands in the flesh. The flesh it self was a slightly tough or maybe just extra firm - could be I cooked it a bit too long - but the strings were something seperate from the flesh, about the thickness of a thinish elastic and stretchy.

Does anyone know what these are? Are they suppossed to be there? I've tried looking up cooking websites to find out what this might be but everywhere I've looked they all say that catfish is tender & flaky and I can't find any reference to the stringy things.

Btw, if the strings are something terrible that's not suppossed to be there PLEASE sugarcoat the info for me. :eek:

Thanks,
Petra
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
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One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
post #2 of 11
What was the source of your catfish. Some are farmed, some come from the sea, others from fresh water (lakes, sloughs, etc.) I understand that some catfish do have longitudinal nerve fibers that might explain what you experienced but I'm no expert on catfish anatomy so don't rely on that as a certainty.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
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My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying Culprit. I have no idea what the source was. I bought it from an Oriental seller and it was not in a name brand (or any brand for that matter) package, so no info on where it came from.
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
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One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
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post #4 of 11
worms?

Can't think of many other things they could be.
post #5 of 11
It is difficult to sugar coat every possibility. None of us can, of course, be certain what it was that you found in your fish. If they were worms, and you may never know, I'd suggest you find a trustworthy and knowledgeable fish monger (and not every super market can be relied upon in that regard) from whom to purchase your fish. Here are a couple of links that might help you in identifying parasites in your fish:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...lr%3D%26sa%3DG

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...lr%3D%26sa%3DN

Ask to look at the fish before you buy it. Ask the fish monger to look through the flesh to verify the absence of worms (which are more common in fish than you might imagine) and smell it to determine if it is fresh.

Here's another helpful link on the subject. Have a look -

http://www.hub-uk.com/tallytip02/tip0052.htm

I never hesitate to return fish if I find worms in it. And if the person at the fish counter objects I simply make sure that everyone within earshot understands why I'm there. :)
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, just the fact that what I described doesn't seem to be normal (cause no one really knows what it is) is enough to make me cringe and never want to eat fish again. :eek:
Thanks for the info & links Myplace. What you say makes sense and that's probably why the fish I bought was frozen - so that customers can't tell if it's infested or not. I don't know much about fish - I rarely buy it. I'll know better next time though....ummm, if there IS a next time.
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
post #7 of 11
Oh, Pedra, please don't give up on fish just because you may have had one bad experience. Fish is absolutely wonderful; and the wide range of flavors and textures in fish increase its versatility as an element in culinary arts.
Here's a suggestion. Find a quality source for fish and pick up some Tilapia fillets. Get them fresh (no more than a day old), if you can. Frozen would be ok. Use a small instrument (a small fork will do) and separate the flesh along its longitudinal lines to examine the flesh. Of course, you'll need to defrost the fillets first if they are frozen. Don't be shy about using a magnifying glass if that will help satisfy your curiosity about parasites.
Once you're convinced that the fish is free of "bad" stuff, prepare yourself a nice meal (you can bake Tilapia, fry it, broil it, use it in a bouillabaisse, etc.) and enjoy the experience. That should help you overcome any squeamishness you have about fish. Remember, you can get some pretty rotten stuff at the meat counter, including beef, pork, chicken, etc. So don't let a little bit of bad fish spoil your eating pleasure and cooking excitement.
post #8 of 11
That's the key concept here: "Doesn't seem to be normal"

It's NOT normal. You just had bad luck on that piece of fish. Go out and try some other (from a different source, of course.)
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies & encouragement everyone.

I'm a mostly vegetarian, Myplace, but I understand what you mean about rotten meat. Even veggies have their share of bugs 'n slugs. I will get back on my horse again and not let the fall scare me away! :)
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
post #10 of 11

Give Catfish a Chance

Please don't--don't--give up on catfish. I did, for many years based on the muddy tasting stuff I used to haul out of our nearby river. Then a few decades ago I was introduced to the farm-raised stuff and have been a fan ever since.

Here's an old southern prep that's easy and great and hard to ruin. Spread catfish fillets with yellow mustard (this is no time for Dijon). Roll the fillets in cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper (and a dash of cayenne, if you like). Fry in a quarter inch of vegetable oil (canola or peanut works fine), turning once, until the crust is lightly browned on both sides, about eight to ten minutes total.

The cornmeal crust keeps the fish moist and takes up very little oil. You'll quickly forget that first unhappy experience.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Mmmmm mustard... That sounds delectable JonK. :smiles: Thanks for the recipe - I will definitley have to try it!
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.
~Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb~
Reply
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