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another food question

(14 Posts)
Fennel Wed 07-Aug-19 19:14:58

Twice recently I've bought some form of frozen fish. I normally buy fresh. It says on the package cook from frozen, do not remove packaging, do not de-frost.
It involves poaching for about an hour.
Both times I followed the instructions, and the resulting fish had a thick white scum all over it.
Is this normal?
The first time I took it back to the shop and they gave me a replacement, with a later useby date. Which I cooked and it had much less scum.
I'm not usually so fussy, but wondered what is this white scum?

DanniRae Wed 07-Aug-19 19:20:06

Fennel - I would go back to buying fresh fish. Poaching for an hour when fresh fish can be poached in far less time thick, white scum not very appealing is it?
Yes, definitely give it a miss!

JackyB Wed 07-Aug-19 20:06:01

Living so far from the sea as I do, I always have to use frozen fish. I find that the best way to cook it (from frozen) is to poach it, covered completely in water.

I also like it microwaved in a sealed microwave bag (no water added in this case).

I don't know what the scum is, but I have noticed it if I cook the fish at too high a temperature or too strong a microwave setting. You could also ignore the instructions and thaw before cooking.

Iam64 Wed 07-Aug-19 20:39:18

I try to buy fresh but keep some breaded haddock in the freezer, that's at least edible. Surely no fish needs poaching for an hour, even if frozen.
I buy fresh from the good fish monger, freeze that. His advice is to defrost before cooking and I've found that works.

annep1 Thu 08-Aug-19 19:14:01

I'm no expert cook. But that sounds strange. Don't know what the scum is but fresh fish can be cooked in a few minutes. I used to buy birds eye frozen cod in sauce and it didnt take long. I've never heard of it taking an hour.

petra Thu 08-Aug-19 19:20:44

Octopus: the longer the better. Yum yum.

Coolgran65 Thu 08-Aug-19 19:41:35

I think that the 'white scum' is protein. Too much of it on your fish could mean that it's overcooked. I've had this happen sometimes on pork chops.

No way should fish take an hour to cook. I cook it from frozen in about 25 minutes in the oven.

BradfordLass72 Thu 08-Aug-19 23:30:30

Freezing solidifies the flesh and juices in the fish.
The scum, is just liquid from the fish with particles of the flesh which melt together as it defrosts. All very long as it smells fresh when you open the bag.

Poaching for an hour sounds rather long, if it a very big piece? Try another brand.

Iam64 Fri 09-Aug-19 08:58:59

petra - ah yes, your right about octopus. I've never cooked it at home but its a favourite when I'm in Greece.

M0nica Fri 09-Aug-19 09:43:52

I think the scum is water released in the defrosting process, which contains some of the fish protein so solidifies when cooked (just like egg white)

But cooking fish for an hour, frozen or fresh. shock.The texture would be horrible and over cooked by then. I usually defrost frozen fish in the microwave before cooking as I am usually using it in a made-up meal and need to de-skin it and chop it up before I cook it. For example, the fish curry we are having for lunch today.

Missfoodlove Fri 09-Aug-19 10:50:09

The scum is due to over cooking.
Buy fresh fish, freeze in a quality freezer bag, defrost and treat as fresh.
No fish should take an hour to poach, frozen or fresh

Fennel Fri 09-Aug-19 11:47:55

I understand now - it didn't smell bad.
I should explain - this fish was a traditional Jewish delicacy called gefilte fish. It's made of minced white fish, onions, a little sugar, matza meal and egg. Then formed into a sausage shape. And poached in a savoury stock for ages.
I could make it myself but it's very time consuming and the whole house smells of fish.
I think gefilte means stuffed. Originally it was made of carp flesh, then stuffed into the skin of the carp and poached for ages. I could be wrong.
Sounds awful but tastes nice.
You can also form the mixture into little balls and bake in a tomato and onion sauce. Or fry in rissoles.

Riverwalk Fri 09-Aug-19 12:36:41

I love gefilte fish - a late friend used to make it. It's a big fishy dumpling that's why it's poached, to cook the other ingredients.

Your OP was misleading that's why everyone was astounded that you poach fish for an hour!

Fennel Fri 09-Aug-19 12:55:57

Thanks Riverwalk - we love it too.
I've looked it up on Wiki and there's an interesting sideline:
"In Polish Catholic homes, gefilte fish (Polish: karp po żydowsku) is a traditional dish to be eaten on Christmas Eve and Holy Saturday, as these are traditionally meatless feasts.[6] This follows a pattern in which a number of Jewish dishes were also eaten on Catholic religious days in Poland.[6]"