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Thread: Ponzu Crappie

  1. #1
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    Default Ponzu Crappie

    Quick post. These are some fillets from The Rez, Ross Barnett. Starting out with salted butter, toasted sesame oil, and Mongolian Fire oil. Tossed some salt, black pepper, and paprika for crust in just the oil to cook. After browning just the seasonings, tossed in the large fillets first to give them time to cook. Added the sliced celery next to give time to soften. Afterwards adding the home grown red bell pepper and minced garlic cooking till soft. The smaller fillets were then added and swirled around the sides of the pan to collect their own crust making browned paprika. After crusting, the fillets were flipped and diced home grown tomatoes were added to cook just a little. Then the Ponzu Sauce was washed over while turning up the heat. I allow the Ponzu to reduce till it just starts to thicken. you can see it starting to "coat" the rest of the contents. At that time I spread a layer of steamed Jasmine Rice down first then top with our fish, and finally sprinkle Sesame seeds on top to finish.

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  2. #2
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    That's a great looking dish. I've non heard of cooking the seasoning on it's own before; interesting technique.
    Yes, I was talking to myself; sometimes even I have to ask for expert advice.

  3. #3
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    Looks delicious and that’s an awesome plate, what kind is it or where did you find it?
    John

    ď Go make an impact for Godís Kingdom today and everyday. ď

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6poundtest View Post
    That's a great looking dish. I've non heard of cooking the seasoning on it's own before; interesting technique.
    X2! Can you explain this procedure a little.
    Why does it work?
    How long do you brown before fillets go in?


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  5. #5
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    Browning the dry seasonings in butter first wakes up the flavoring oils trapped in the seasonings in the drying process. We all have cooked then tasted for salt & pepper. The dish will taste like it needs more black pepper so we add it. Come back 30 minutes and it tastes like too much. Happens quite a bit with Cayenne pepper. Also your toasting the seasonings like toasting bread, browning the outside of a pot roast, blackening fish, it adds depth and dimension, complexity to a dish. When working with such a delicate flavored fish as Crappie it's super easy to totally delete the mild fish flavor. Thick fillets need more cooking time and the water they release prevents any toasting from taking place at all. Too much seasonings without fully yielding their flavors and the fish is covered up completely. Ponzu is a Asian citrus sauce you can buy at most supermarkets, it's milder than Soy sauce, working the aromatics into the saute adds texture, body, and complementing flavors. Like most Asian sauces Ponzu mixes well with Garlic too. From a restaurant chain in Texas I took the "Warming" of the tomatoes. Papasitos Salsa is made with a warmed or lightly roasted tomatoes, they serve it warm too, wonderful addition to the flavor of the dish. The sugars present in the tomatoes are brought to the surface while countering the natural acids in the fruit. So the combination served over a aromatic rice like fresh steamed Jasmine completes the dish. This dish cooked with a production fish like Tilapia the fish can be cooked separately, placed in a warmer while the rest of the dish is cooked as long as butter & oils remain to flavor the additional ingredients. If left just a bit "wetter" you can assemble on the plate to feed more people. Being a Glutton, I wipe out the dishes posted here by myself.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojoguio View Post
    Browning the dry seasonings in butter first wakes up the flavoring oils trapped in the seasonings in the drying process. We all have cooked then tasted for salt & pepper. The dish will taste like it needs more black pepper so we add it. Come back 30 minutes and it tastes like too much. Happens quite a bit with Cayenne pepper. Also your toasting the seasonings like toasting bread, browning the outside of a pot roast, blackening fish, it adds depth and dimension, complexity to a dish. When working with such a delicate flavored fish as Crappie it's super easy to totally delete the mild fish flavor. Thick fillets need more cooking time and the water they release prevents any toasting from taking place at all. Too much seasonings without fully yielding their flavors and the fish is covered up completely. Ponzu is a Asian citrus sauce you can buy at most supermarkets, it's milder than Soy sauce, working the aromatics into the saute adds texture, body, and complementing flavors. Like most Asian sauces Ponzu mixes well with Garlic too. From a restaurant chain in Texas I took the "Warming" of the tomatoes. Papasitos Salsa is made with a warmed or lightly roasted tomatoes, they serve it warm too, wonderful addition to the flavor of the dish. The sugars present in the tomatoes are brought to the surface while countering the natural acids in the fruit. So the combination served over a aromatic rice like fresh steamed Jasmine completes the dish. This dish cooked with a production fish like Tilapia the fish can be cooked separately, placed in a warmer while the rest of the dish is cooked as long as butter & oils remain to flavor the additional ingredients. If left just a bit "wetter" you can assemble on the plate to feed more people. Being a Glutton, I wipe out the dishes posted here by myself.
    So whatís the solution to thicker filets, not getting as crispy?
    Blackened is my favorite way, thanks for the lesson Iím learning something new!!


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  7. #7
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    So first of all I dry age my crappie fillets. If the fish are caught in a lake 7 days is max. If caught out of a flowing estuary (river delta), I can go as long as 14 days but by 10 I usually have ate all I have aging. Breakfast and Lunch, I will eat till gone. Anyway the fillets are absolutely never allowed to get warm. I pull 4-5 fish out of the cooler at a time, cleaning them under a large umbrella so the sun does not warm. I place a large plastic container with 1/2 cube Ice cubes right to my right. When the 4-5 fish are filleted the fillets are laid on top of the ice filled container to be de-ribbed. After de-ribbed they are washed in ice water then laid on top of the clean ice in the container till all are processed. The container gets a couple of scoops of ice on top then placed in the blast chiller in my kitchen with one corner un-sealed (lets a little air in). Everyday I pour off all the water, the fish continue to give up water till all gone. Doing this the thicker fillets get a chance to dehydrate a bit. After a week they are super sweet but tender. Frying the seasonings develops the flavors so you can turn the heat down with the thick fillets, allowing the balance of the water to escape crisping & crusting the fillet but use two spatulas to flip or they will break.

    FYI, this handling process only works with the river crappie & small marsh bass. Goggle eye, speckled trout, redfish, etc the fish will spoil on the bottom side where air can not get. I have had it work with Shellcrackers caught out of a river only. I will post a picture of my blast chiller in the kitchen when we get out internet fixed, AT&T is supposed to be here by 2pm. I'm using my cell as a hotspot. My friends have successfully aged fish in a regular refrigerator.
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  8. #8
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    Pictures of the Blast Chiller I dry age my Crappie fillets in. If you look at the top inside there is a big fan that really moves the air around. My fillets are exposed to the air circulation by leaving one corner of the Tupperware lid open. Average temps is 34-35 degrees. Cycles on at 38 degrees and off at 34 degrees, being a Chief Engineer I tweaked the Freon charge to get the bump down to 33 degrees. Reduced the cycles per day 30%.

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  9. #9
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    interesting for sure .
    we age them sometimes in crushed ice and water .
    sure makes for a real firm fillet .
    never tried to dry age any though .
    sum kawl me tha outlaw ketchn whales
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