Cured Patagonian tooth fish is an example of a cured, high fat fish. Salmon and mackerel are other examples. The Patagonian tooth fish, is also known as Chilean sea bass, although it is not a bass. The tooth fish is high in fat (as much as 14%) as it lives deep in the cold (-1 C – +2 C) antarctic ocean between Chile and Australia. It is being sustainably fished in relatively small quantities. Its prized meat is loved by cooks for the taste and for the fact the fish is difficult to overcook, due to the high fat content. It forms very nice flakes when done. As the Patagonian tooth fish is a predator and can become old, it is not recommended to eat the fish too often as it may contain some mercury. Here we describe the curing of this precious fish.
The art of making cured Patagonian tooth fish
The Patagonian tooth fish has snow-white raw meat. The dispersed fat makes it snow-white due to the light scattering. Here we selected a few pieces of deep frozen fish meat with on one side the skin on. For curing the high fat fish, we use equal and moderate amounts of salt and sugar. We used slightly tangy Vietnamese mint leaves mixed with dill as the herbs. The salt and sugar draw out moisture from the fish and reduce spoilage. At the same time the texture of the fish flesh becomes more firm. Two days is perfect to make this delicious, very smooth and almost creamy tasting fish. Serve on blini with some creme fraiche if you like and top it with caviar. You will feel like royalty!