We fish the Dams in Queensland and have been told that after filleting and skinning our Australian bass and yellowbelly we should soak them in a solution of salt water: 2 dessertspoons of salt to 3 cups of water. The traveller's story has it that it takes the muddy taste from the fish, and after cooking on the BBQ with a little virgin olive oil gives the best eating of fresh water fish. Is this really necessary?
By Fish to Taste
Lisa Featherby, Gourmet Traveller food editor, writes:
Soaking fish in brine or water before cooking to remove any muddy taste is not necessary. We prefer never to wash or soak whole or filleted fish in water or any other solution (except a marinade) before cooking as it affects the texture, and ultimately, the flavour of the fish. If you have caught fish or bought it from an area where the waters that the fish inhabit are particularly muddy, then so-be-it, enjoy the flavour of the fish from its natural habitat, just as you would a salty fish from the ocean. I would recommend rather than just cooking a river fish on the barbeque with olive oil, you may want to first wrap it in foil with aromatic herbs and spices to match the density of flavour or as an alternative to barbecuing, make a curry (try our recipe for river trout and eggplant curry) and you will find that rather than eliminating flavour in the fish, you are enhancing it instead. Happy fishing!