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B-man715

Pickled Fish

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I just finished the second half of my batch. This year I put them into wide-mouth pint jars. I think these will make the fish a little easier to get to and they look a lot nicer than a mystery icecream bucket in the fridge smile Some are pike and some are sunfish/crappie. I put labels on them too so you know what is going in your mouth. mmm mmm good

The darker ones were just finished today, and the lighter ones are ready to be devoured!

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B-man, come on give up your secret recipe #9!! frown I made my first batch of Pike last year and they were oh OK! I got the recipe I did end up trying up at our campground from a guy, but had gotten about 3 other ones from other people around the park. Some said it would take about 1 week, and others said it would take about 3 weeks. I went with the 1 week simple one but they were a little chewy! Maybe at least post your old recipe # 7 or 8, and we can figure out our own # 9!! laugh

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One question to anyone with experience pickling, do you refrigerate the brine w/fish? I would like to try to pickle some. I have a old family recipe but it doesn't say anything about refrigeration.

Any thoughts will be appreciated

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the way i go about it minus the recipe is, freeze fish with no water (in ziplocks) layed flat for 24 hours at or below Zero. then defrost and soak covered in salt water solution of 2 cups o salt to 1 quart of water,use enough quarts to fully cover fish, for 48 hours. drain then then cover with white vinegar and set in fridge for another 24 hours. After 24 i drop into jars and add my finishing brine. but yes during ALL phases keep it refrigerated. i also let mine sit for for a min of 2 weeks before i touch it. but i have a pal who is a fiend for it and can only wait a week after i jar them and he loves it

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My secret recipe is actually only #3, #9 just sounds better! smile

I've tried a couple others in the past, but they just didn't do it for me. One used wine (didn't care for it) and the second wasn't sweet enough. I like a sweeter "swedish style" myself. As for the process it is very similar to Urbanflyguy's above (though you will never find 2 people who do it the same). You MUST freeze the fish, I freeze for 2 days (if not, any parasites like worms can live through the pickling process and become friends with your large intestine). Then my salt brine is 1 cup of PICKLING salt to one QUART BOTTLED water. City/well water can impart an off taste and color. I let sit for 2 days, stirring a few times a day. Then rinse well and drain. Next submerge in white vinegar (5-6 percent store bought stuff), I do this for 2 days, and make sure to stir a few times each day. Then drain, DO NOT rinse, and layer in jars with fish and onion. For a final brine there are a millon ways to do it. Personlly I like a 1:1. 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of NEW vinegar. Put this in a pot with 1 tablespoon of pickling spice per 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then set in fridge to cool. (A lot of recipes will say to let it cool to room temperature and then pour over fish, but I let it get into the 30's so it can't soften the meat at all.) Once cool, pour over the stacked fish/onions making sure to cover. Leave them in the fridge for at least five days. I like to give them a shake everyday for the first five days. And bammy, delicious fish!!! As for how long they are good for, I've read as little as 3 weeks to as long as 12 months. I take the middle of the road and say 6 months. Unless you make a 55 gallon drum of fish it will never last that long anyways smile

a couple more tips:

only use plastic or glass bowls for the entire process (no metal)

everthing must be refrigerated for the entire process.

everything should be covered for the entire process, if not your fridge will taste like fish or your fish will taste like a fridge smile

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B-man, does yours stay soft or get kind of rubbery? My first try got a little rubbery after the 2nd soak? Huum? Thanks for the tips! I did use the wine though, Huum? confused

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Leech,

I personally think the "firmer" the better. I can't say I've ever had any "rubbery" even with the wine recipe. Must just be a preference in texture smile

I got to thinking last night about it. If you want your fish to be a little softer, I read a recipe awhile back about cooking the fish first. Try simmering a small batch in some water, cooking to maybe 1/2 or 3/4 of doneness so the pieces won't fall apart. Then proceed as normal.

Worth a try?

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Huum? May have to try that? The stuff you buy at the stores isn't rubbery? It maybe the salt and vinegar that does it? Oh well will keep trying. It still tasted good! smile

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B-man715,

Your pickled fish looks very good. You have no shortage of info on top of the jar. It really gives me something to think about when I make my next batch.

Here is the recipe that I use. If you need more info or someone to try and talk you through your 1st attempt send me an e-mail and I can get you my cell number.

I've had very good luck with the recipe that I use except for my last batch. A buddy gave me a few fillets that he had forzen for longer then they sould have been not being coverd in water or put in a food sealer bag. The batch tastes very good it's just chewy as others have stated. I'm leaving it sit as long as I can to see if that will help soften it a bit.

Here is my recipe

Pickled Northern:

3 lbs of Northern chunks per recipe. 3 lbs makes 3 Quarts of pickled fish.

1st step:

Mix 4 cups of water with 1 cup of canning salt (I use an ice cream bucket) Mix your 3lbs of Northern into the water and salt mixture. This step lasts for 2 Days (48 hrs) Stir the Northern chunks at least once during the 48 hrs so all parts of the fish are covered.

2nd Step:

Drain and rinse Northern chunks well. Place back into ice cream bucket and cover with white vingar. This step takes 24 hrs. Mix chunks at least once during this step and add more vingar if needed to keep Northern chunks covered.

3rd Step:

Make your brine. Pour 3 cups of white vingar into a pot and add 3 of Sugar. Bring this to a boil. The brine must cool before it is put in the jars so allow yourself the amount of time you will need to do this.

4th Step: Drain the vingar from your Northern chunks in your icecream buckets and cut yourself at least 1 sweet onions into slices. Now pack your 3 quart jars layering them with fish and onions until the jars are full. In each quart jar add 1 Tablespoon of Durke pickling spices and fill each jar with your brine.

Cover your jars with lids and rings and place in the frig for 7-10 days and it's time to injoy some pickled Northern.

You can also add jalapeno peppers or mild banana peppers along with each layer of onions if you would like to tang things up a bit.

Good luck and let me know how this works out for you if you try this recipe.

Take care,

Tom (BD110)

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I am not big on the pickling spice mixtures so I only use mustard seed, clove, and bay leaves in mine. The pickling spice mixtures include too many other funky spices. And I also prefer my fish firm after its done in the processing. It's a texture thing. Pickled herring in the stores is terrible but firm pickled pike and pannies are delicious.

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Im a fan of anything pickled but have actually never made pickled fish. My dad and I got into a load of nice sunfish the other day. They have been frozen and are now takeing a salt bath... cool

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One thing i would add to it all is, when you are cooking the vinegar sugar solutiom is to open a window and get a fan. it becomes overpowering very quickly. its an ugly feeling in my opinion

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I'll agree that there is no hiding the fact that vinegar has been heated on the stove. I have yet to have to open a window though. Seems to me that it would not be that cost efective to suck all the heat out the house during the heating season.

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Because pickeled fish doesn't last very long, I have never had it in the fridge for more than a few weeks to a month or so.

Anyone have any idea how long it would keep in the fridge?

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Early Riser,

If a make a large batch I'll have it around longer then usual. I'm guessing I had a jar or two out of the batch that have been in the frig for a least two months. I'm not sure how long it would stay fresh as you stated it never seems to stick around very long.

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Just an update on my last batch of pickled Northern that I thought was a little chewy. The batch has always had good flavor to it. It just seemed that it was chewier then normal. It's been left alone now for about 8 to 10 weeks and it's still firm like it should be put the chewyness has went away. Now that it's flying off the shelf it's time to get another batch going. I hate to run short on a fresh batch of pickled fish.

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Since I never got to sample B-Man's frown I guessI'll have to make some of my own. Unfortunatly, my wife won't let me use the few remaining crappies in the freezer.

Never targeted Pike before but I think it's time. Since I have to wait over a month before I can do so, do you think sunfish are as good? When it gets to be pike time someone will have to explain how to remove the bones.

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i have pickled sunfish, perch, crappies, and pike

and sunfish are one of my favorite to pickle and its a good way to use up all those little runt sunfish that seem to fill the metro lakes. i also love to use them when making fish chowder.

And as far as pike boen removal goes you dont have to worry about them if you are gonna pickle them as the vinegar disolves them.

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I used BD110's recipe with sunfish and it came out awesome. I really like the sunfish because when I cut the filets in 1/3rds they fit nicely on a cracker. Plus the thickness and texture of the filet was perftct...

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