Foods of the World Forum Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > The Best Foods You Can Get - Your Own > Hunting and Fishing
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Overly-moist or "soft" trout?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

This site is completely supported by donations; there are no corporate sponsors. We would be honoured if you would consider a small donation, to be used exclusively for forum expenses.



Thank you, from the Foods of the World Forums!

Overly-moist or "soft" trout?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 9296
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Overly-moist or "soft" trout?
    Posted: 31 July 2013 at 10:59
Here in Montana, especially where I live, fishing opportunities abound. The Beautiful Mrs. Tas had to work late on Monday, so I had my youngest son hitch a ride with my parents up to Havre, where we both work, and I took him to a nice spot on the shores of Beaver Creek Lake, just a few miles south of town on the edge of the Bears Paw Mountains, where we managed to get a couple of hours of fishing in before I had to pick her up from work.
 
This one reservoir, not very large at all, provides opportunities for three species of trout (rainbow, brown and brook), walleye, northern pike, perch and - if memory serves - smallmouth bass. The spot where we like to fish is a consistent producer of beautiful, hard-fighting rainbow trout, and this day was no exception. Generally, we release the fish that are simply hooked through the lip and have a good chance of surviving; however, on this day two of them swallowed the hook, so we kept them - here's mine:
 
 
And here's the one that Roger caught:
 
 
As you can see, they are not trophy-sized monsters, but such fish are never really my goal; they are, however, perfectly-sized for the pan or the smoker, and that's how we enjoy them.
 
The one problem that I have with trout (and this seems to be true among all species available to me, regardless of location or size), is that the meat sometimes seems - even when properly cooked - to be overly moist or soft - almost mushy. I can't find a reason for this; I've encountered it with trout that are freshly-caught, killed and cooked - and with trout that have been in the freezer a while. I've had it happen whether they've been fried, baked, broiled or roasted on a stick over a fire.
 
Other times, this doesn't happen, and the meat comes off flakey (flaky?) and "just right," or, at least, what I would expect. The cooked fillets or fish look great, and it's like having a piece of heaven in your mouth.  The thing is, I can't predict it, so I've moved away from the habit of cooking them for meals, relying on another option: the only time I know I won't have it is when they are smoked, due to the fact that most excess moisture is of course removed, so that's what I find myself doing more and more.
 
I used to think I was under-cooking them, but that's definitely not the problem. I also thought it might be a thing with hatchery-raised trout, but I've had it with wild trout too. The only other thing I can think of is that it might be related to the size of the trout. The ones you see in the photos above (maybe 1.5 or 2 pounds) are about the "average" size around here, although depending on where you go they can range smaller (around 12 inches) or larger (around 24 inches). These ae averages, but generally reliable ones. Perhaps larger fish do not have such fine-textured meat that comes off soft or overly-moist?
 
Any ideas or experiences would be helpful.
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
pitrow View Drop Down
Chef
Chef
Avatar

Joined: 22 November 2010
Location: Newberg, Oregon
Status: Offline
Points: 998
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2013 at 11:30
It's been a while since I've done much fish cooking since my wife isn't a seafood fan at all, but the first thing that came to mind was maybe trying layering them with salt or a heavy brine for a bit to try to pull the moisture out and firm up the flesh a bit?
Mike
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
Back to Top
MTMan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant


Joined: 23 April 2011
Location: Brookings, OR.
Status: Offline
Points: 95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2013 at 23:37
Ron, I've found that trout caught from warmer waters has a tendency to be soft, unlike trout caught from cold flowing waters.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 9296
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2013 at 09:31
g'morning, guys -
 
mike - that's definitely what i notice happening when i brine the trout for smoking; also, when i made my salt-crusted trout, which by the way is absolutely delicious! it might be worth it to see about salting the fish and letting the salt pull out some of the moisture before seasoning the fish and cooking it.
 
george, you make a good point there, too. most of the trout i catch are in reservoirs, which do not have the swift, cold-running waters. even in the spring, when the water is cold, it is probably warmer than the creeks and streams - at least enough to make a difference. the flavour of the trout is always very good, but the texture does get a little softer. the one brook trout that i caught this eyar did not seem to have any texture problems, and it was from a stream, so this makes sense.
 
by the way, happy birthday yesterday! Party
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Rod Franklin View Drop Down
Chef
Chef
Avatar

Joined: 17 February 2010
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 921
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2013 at 19:42
Congratulations of the catch!

In my experience, rainbow trout in general are softer and less palatable than other kinds of trout. In Nevada I would let all the rainbows go and only kept the brown trout. I found them firmer, less greasy, if that's the right word, and overall of a better texture and flavor.
Hungry
Back to Top
HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 21 February 2012
Location: Kentucky
Status: Offline
Points: 4750
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2013 at 06:44
I don't care for trout, and rarely cook it except for Friend Wife. But, as a general rule, mushiness in fish results from a number of causes.

1. The fish has recently spawned. (particularly true with salmonids)
2. The fish has been living in warm water.
3. The fish did not receive proper field care.
4. The fish has been frozen and/or defrosted improperly.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 9296
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2013 at 08:47
Rod - I can definitely string along with what you're saying; I always thought that it probably had something to do with the fact that most rainbow trout are hatchery trout, whereas other species are predominately wild. This may or may not be  factor, due to the food that rainbows receive at the hatchery.
 
Brook - interesting points, and some probably do apply:
 
1 & 2 - very possible: I don't notice it being as much of a "problem" with the first fish of the year, caught barely as soon as the ice is gone.
 
3. No worries there - I'm more obsessive about my fish than i am about my wild game, and as you know from our previous discussions, I'm pretty obsessive about my wild game ~ lol
 
4. This is a possibility. I tend to freeze fish as quickly and evenly as possible, completely sumbmerged in blocks of ice, but I have been known to rush the thawing process. On the other hand, I've also noticed the texture problems when fish are literally only a few minutes out of the water and off the hook.
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 21 February 2012
Location: Kentucky
Status: Offline
Points: 4750
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2013 at 09:56
The wild vs hatchery question can get confusing, Ron.

Newly stocked fish are still influenced by what they were fed in the hatchery. Nowadays that’s usually pellet food. But once they acclimate to the new surroundings, and become hold-overs, they should be no different than truly wild ones.

One stream I fish gets stocked with fish 6-8 inches long. But I've taken trout from that water as long as 18". Do you think a fish that's managed to survive long enough to reach that size (2 years or more) is any different than if it had been born in the stream?

The open question is: how long before a particular trout reaches hold-over stage.

Kentucky is different than most states because the fish and game folks believe it’s good PR to let anglers know about stockings. So they actually publish the date and location of where the hatchery truck will be. As a result, the truck is greeted by a hoard of fisherman---most of whom never get more than a hundred yards from the release point.
Within two weeks, 90% of the stockers have been caught.

It’s the other 10% that interests me. They’ve migrated up and down stream, and are actively feeding on what’s available. And they’ve been learning how to avoid predators. The longer they survive, of course, the wilder they get.

We also have to differentiate “wild” from “native born.” Here in the Bluegrass, with the exception of a few semi-secret fisheries, there is no naturally reproduction of trout. So “wild” and “hold-over” become synonyms.

As to the mushiness issue, let me repeat: I hardly ever eat trout, so have no first-hand experience with it. My list of causes applies in general to fish of all species, and was offered only by way of possibilities.

One other thought: Have you noticed any relationship between mushiness and the presence or recent expulsion of eggs? Trout need running water to spawn, and if it’s not present (as is often true with flat-water stockers) the hormonal changes could have something to do with the quality of the flesh.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 9296
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2013 at 10:06
Good observations on hatchery/wild/native born. I've oten assumed that after a year or to, it makes little difference, but any possibility is something I'll consider at this point.
 
In regards to your question:
 
Quote Have you noticed any relationship between mushiness and the presence or recent expulsion of eggs? Trout need running water to spawn, and if it’s not present (as is often true with flat-water stockers) the hormonal changes could have something to do with the quality of the flesh.
 
I can't say too much one way or the other, as it is something that I've ever really noticed or not noticed, but it is certainly another possibility. I've caught plenty of trout in various stages of egg development, but never gave it too much thought about in relation to the textrure of the meat.
 
Side note - surely those eggs have culinary value? Too often, they are simply discarded or used for bait....
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.