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What is the difference between white fish and oily fish?

White fish are saltwater fish with oil concentrated mainly in the liver. The two main groups are the cod family, which includes ocean perch, gurnard, ling and whiting as well as cod; and the flatfish family of flounder and sole. Other white fish are barramundi, flathead, garfish, John Dory, parrot fish, red emperor and red mullet, shark, sea bream (or morwong) and snapper.

The oil in oily fish is distributed throughout their flesh. This makes them more nutritious than white fish, but higher in kilojoules. Salt-water oily fish include anchovies, herrings, grey mullet, sardines, pilchards and tuna, while salmon and trout are oily freshwater fish.

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11:51:11 on 11/14/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When buying fish, what are the signs of freshness?

If the fish is whole, there are several things to look for: the eyes should be clear and bright, the scales should be shiny, the gills should be a healthy-looking pink or red and the flesh should feel firm and resilient to the touch. Fillets and steaks should also be firm and moist, and the flesh should have a fresh, translucent color.

A fresh, clean smell is another good sign. Fresh fish should not in fact smell 'fishy', but saltwater fish should smell of the sea.

10:29:14 on 11/14/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

If a recipe calls for filo pastry, can we use flaky pastry or puff pastry in the dish instead?

Not really. Even though filo pastry (also called phyllo or strudel pastry), flaky pastry and puff pastry are all made with the same basic ingredients of fat, flour and water, the proportion of fat to flour varies and this affects the amount of water used to form the dough and the type of pastry that results. If you use either flaky or puff pastry, both of which are sturdy, instead of the gossamer-thin sheets of filo, the results - although they may be satisfactory - will be completely different in texture.

Filo pastry can be made at home but it takes a great deal of time to beat, stretch, pull and roll the pastry into the characteristic sheets so thin you can read through them. It is much easier to buy it ready-made, fresh or frozen, either from supermarkets or from delicatessens.

Ready-made filo pastry comes in very thin leaves of varying sizes. Thaw frozen filo pastry thoroughly according to the instructions on the packet and let it come to room temperature in its box before you try to use it. The sheets should then be brushed with butter or oil before they are baked to make the pastry layers light and crisp.

09:32:20 on 11/14/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -