bass11

Mashed potato surf perch revelation

Rate this topic

18 posts in this topic

Firstly let me say that I claim credit for nothing as I didn't discover squat.  Secondly I do give credit to Moocks for coining the term mashed potatoes when it comes to describing the texture of surf perch.

 

This work-around solution was revealed to me some 60 odd years ago when I was knee high to a grasshopper.  OK.........maybe not knee high to a grasshopper, but I recollect being barely able to see over the counter top while standing on my tippey toes.  At that tender age I'm sure that I could not even begin to fathom the definition of revelation.  In any event, on the counter was a platter of surf perch.  They seemed huge at the time.  They were given to us by a guy named Johnny Cacholla..........a Filipino team mate on my Dad's bowling team.  My Mom said something about fish cake.  Huh????  What's that?  I thought cake was made of flour.  She went on to say something about finely chopped fish and slamming it repeatedly against a cast iron skillet.  OK Ma.  Enough knowledge for one day and probably bounced off to do some mindless thing that children do.  As I remember it tasted good enough to eat and I learned that cake was not always made of flour. Didn't give it another thought.  Nuff said.  After all, how many children spend any amount of time scrutinizing food processing technique?  Meals are something that magically appear on the dinner table.  Right?  Until you grow up and have to fend for yourself.

 

Over the years, I've had occasion to revisit that memory.  The most logical interpretation was that Mom was having fun and pulling my leg.  Until...................I finally got around to googling fish cake.  What came up most often was fish paste and fish balls.  All kinds of descriptions of people slinging handfuls of fish goo against different hard surfaced vessels.  Classy gourmond that I pretend to be, I decided to use an expensive enamel covered cast iron dutch oven with high walls to minimize splatter.  After all, short of a Juan Marichal wind up, I was going to give it my best Gaylord Perry delivery.  Decided to make fish balls with rice noodles in home made chicken broth.  Flavor profile was ginger, garlic. soy sauce green onion, S&P.  Hmmmmmmmm.  Not bad.  The texture was greatly improved and the fish balls were no where near crumbly.  Tasty.  Been doing it that way for the past couple of years.  The one thing that kind of annoyed me was that the fish goo stuck to the enamel on that cast iron Dutch oven pretty fiercely.  It was PITA and a little wasteful.  It occurred to me that maybe if I took a paper towel and smeared a thin film of peanut oil on the surface of my BSR #8 cast iron skillet, then some of the stickiness problem could be alleviated.  Maybe I didn't need that Bob Gibson pace after all.  Dang! Was that a fluke or an accident?  Made a second batch a week later.  Double DANG!!!  The texture was elastic and springy.  One could almost say them balls was bouncy.

 

Thanks Ma!  You should've hit your problem child over the head with your knowledge.

 

 

Edited by bass11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. Your skunked and you really wanted perch. What to do ? Stop at Safeway on the way home. Surf too high and you would rather watch football. Open that package of mashed potatoes, add a dash of fish sauce and throw them into your BSR #8 cast iron skillet  and make some delicious fish cakes from the safety of that nice warm home.

fish cakes.png

Edited by moocks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i ain't been catchin' no perch, and not for lack of trying, but obviously people seem to hate the texture....  idk,  actually, i like it.... maybe i'll tire of it. it's like sand dabs, which i also like. so today, no perch, one nibble in an hour at ocean beach. i think everyone was crabbing...... and this guy on youtube was filming at the same time at baker beach! he was crabbing...

 

please do NOT mention gaylord perry....................and bring up memories of that stupid trade: perry for sudden sam..........who had a drinking problem? whatever, he was worthless!!! jeeze, you musta hung out at candlestick a lot.......!! ah, i remember the urinal troughs. i was a little kid... uh, they seemed pretty high to me... and it was cool that people would pass food down the rows and rows.... idk if they still do that, but i'd guess that that hot dog would not reach the intended person these days. i'm so cynical.

Edited by doublegregg
persnickity fiddler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, moocks said:

So. Your skunked and you really wanted perch. What to do ? Stop at Safeway on the way home. Surf too high and you would rather watch football. Open that package of mashed potatoes, add a dash of fish sauce and throw them into your BSR #8 cast iron skillet  and make some delicious fish cakes from the safety of that nice warm home.

fish cakes.png

Gotta love it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, doublegregg said:

i ain't been catchin' no perch, and not for lack of trying, but obviously people seem to hate the texture....  idk,  actually, i like it.... maybe i'll tire of it. it's like sand dabs, which i also like. so today, no perch, one nibble in an hour at ocean beach. i think everyone was crabbing...... and this guy on youtube was filming at the same time at baker beach! he was crabbing...

 

please do NOT mention gaylord perry....................and bring up memories of that stupid trade: perry for sudden sam..........who had a drinking problem? whatever, he was worthless!!! jeeze, you musta hung out at candlestick a lot.......!! ah, i remember the urinal troughs. i was a little kid... uh, they seemed pretty high to me... and it was cool that people would pass food down the rows and rows.... idk if they still do that, but i'd guess that that hot dog would not reach the intended person these days. i'm so cynical.

I like sand dabs, too.  They're delicate and flaky.  Perch on the other hand are more of a mushy texture.  Flavor is nice, tho.

 

May have spent a few evenings at Candlestick in '62,:)  The lineup or actually the whole team roster still stands out in my mind to this day.  Good times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bass11 said:

I like sand dabs, too.  They're delicate and flaky.  Perch on the other hand are more of a mushy texture.  Flavor is nice, tho.

 

May have spent a few evenings at Candlestick in '62,:)  The lineup or actually the whole team roster still stands out in my mind to this day.  Good times.

me too........... 1962. the alou bros, maybe cepeda?, course the three m's.... that's the first season i remember.... if i ever catch another perch, i'll check out the texture...  oh, and jim ray hart...jimmy davenport............ um... tom haller behind the plate?  he may have come later, i'll wager.... and at shortstop, pagan...! wow!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, doublegregg said:

i ain't been catchin' no perch, and not for lack of trying, but obviously people seem to hate the texture....  idk,  actually, i like it.... maybe i'll tire of it. it's like sand dabs, which i also like. so today, no perch, one nibble in an hour at ocean beach. i think everyone was crabbing...... and this guy on youtube was filming at the same time at baker beach! he was crabbing...

 

please do NOT mention gaylord perry....................and bring up memories of that stupid trade: perry for sudden sam..........who had a drinking problem? whatever, he was worthless!!! jeeze, you musta hung out at candlestick a lot.......!! ah, i remember the urinal troughs. i was a little kid... uh, they seemed pretty high to me... and it was cool that people would pass food down the rows and rows.... idk if they still do that, but i'd guess that that hot dog would not reach the intended person these days. i'm so cynical.

That's why I gave you an alternative. If you ain't been catching any you wont be tiring of eating it....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite way to cook Red Tails is to gut them, leave scales intact (they puff and make skin crispier) salt well (not that iodized ****) and hard fry...... over cook them so the meat drys out a touch and is more firm. Each with hot pepper paste and Thai Sticky Rice. If you want fish cakes use Tapioca flour AND a bit of baking powder and blitz in a food processor....it gives things a bit of spring and holds together like a hotdog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2021 at 5:52 PM, Derick Jahnke said:

My favorite way to cook Red Tails is to gut them, leave scales intact (they puff and make skin crispier) salt well (not that iodized ****) and hard fry...... over cook them so the meat drys out a touch and is more firm. Each with hot pepper paste and Thai Sticky Rice. If you want fish cakes use Tapioca flour AND a bit of baking powder and blitz in a food processor....it gives things a bit of spring and holds together like a hotdog.

If you want to make fishcakes out of perch and your on a skunk.....

hot sauce.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a while as I thought I'd give it some time for people to try the "slammin' against a cast iron pan" method.  Anyone give it a try?  It really does work folks.  Don't even need any binders, tapioca flour or corn starch.  Just got done with a bowl of fish ball & noodle soup.  Been getting 11-12" cookie cutter perch lately.  No smalls.

 

Just wondering if anyone has tried it and found it helpful.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.