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Threadfin Shad Edible?

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#1 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:35 AM

Anyone know of recipe or cooking methods suitable for threadfin shad? Want to be able to consume entire animal as done with small fishes in other countries. We are trying to promote sustainable aquaculture using native-low trophic level species. I am already considering inland silverside.


#2 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:31 PM

Anyone know of recipe or cooking methods suitable for threadfin shad? Want to be able to consume entire animal as done with small fishes in other countries.

Like tazukuri? It's usually made with sardines, but you could try it with threadfin shad and tell us how it tastes.

Tazukuri recipe:

Sardines are called "iwashi" in Japan, so if you want more tiny fish recipes from Japan, try searching for "iwashi recipes". There's no shortage of them.


Edit: Ooh, you could also grind them and turn them into kamaboko (fish paste), which is used in many, many recipes. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamaboko

Edited by EricaWieser, 29 August 2011 - 01:36 PM.

#3 Guest_haruspicator_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:41 PM

I had a publication from i think FAO Fisheries that had some techniques for preserving farm fish in the tropics. It was an older one, and in a box out of town so I don't have access to it right now. My memory very vague on it.


#4 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:09 PM

For a limited time, the Shad-O-Matic can be yours for just 3 monthly installments of $19.99.
Operators are standing by, please call now! Offer not available in stores.

PS - The Grifton Shad Festival (Grifton NC) serves catfish, not shad.

Edited by gerald, 29 August 2011 - 02:11 PM.

#5 Guest_MichiJim_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:00 PM

How big are you talking about? I've seen some threadfins that are bigger than I would like to eat whole.

If they are small enough, you could prepare them like we do smelt up in the Great Lakes. Most smelt are around 4" or larger, so we like to gut them and remove the heads, dip them in batter and fry. Smaller ones can be eaten whole. If you don't eat the heads, you can make stock or fish sauce out of them.

My daughter is in Thailand for the next 6 months, and much of their protein comes from small fish, mostly eaten whole. Prepared quickly with high heat and lots of chilies and spices. But many of these are really small, 1 or 2 inches.

Google up some Thai cooking, and let us know how it works out. Great idea.

#6 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 05:32 PM

I think optimum size will be in the 2" to 4" range. I want to raise relatively large numbers in small shallow ponds to periodically harvest using seine or lift net. Consumption of entire animal, entrails, head and scales along with muscle is target. I was under impression shad, gizzard at least, rank down their with Alabama shad and stonerollers on nasty scale. Hoping threadfin make for better table fare. Anyone actually eat threadfin?

#7 Guest_MichiJim_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:29 PM

Can't say I have tried them, but have you every had a fresh anchovy? I think they are pretty nasty too, but I love anchovy paste in sauces.

Good luck, I'd be willing to try them.

#8 Guest_daveneely_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:58 PM

No thoughts on threadfins. Small Gudusia and Tenualosa (smallish SE Asian shads) are tasty fried whole. Gizzards are horrible, but stonerollers are OK ONLY in winter or early spring. I've heard conjecture that secondary compounds from algae are sequestered in muscle during the summer and fall. As for Alabama shad, they're uncommon as heck. Their sister species, though, can be pretty abundant...

Earlier this summer a former student of mine asked me that since American shad and hickory shad and bluebacks are all eaten on the Atlantic coast, and different Alosa are important foodfish wherever they occur around the world (despite ALL being oily and having lots of intermuscular bones), why doesn't anyone eat skipjack? I couldn't give him a logical reason. A couple weeks back they showed up en masse below one of the local dams, where they were easy pickings on light fly tackle.

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I kept six medium-sized skippies, immediately put them on ice, and scaled and filleted them as soon as I got home. I brined the fillets overnight in a pickling salt/brown sugar mix, and smoked them for about five hours at between 180-220F over apple twigs.

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The fillets got a little dry in the thinner sections towards the tail (I needed more moisture in the smoker) but still had excellent color and flavor if you avoided the fattier deposits under the skin and towards the belly. The intermuscular bones did NOT soften during smoking and were still too hard to eat without flaking the meat off. It took about an hour to pick the meat off of the smoked fillets. I used the flaked meat in a recipe that I've previously used for mullet dip -- superb! They're cool fish and deserve more respect than most give them. I'm not sure I'd eat them all the time (particularly out of the mainstem Tennessee), but they are certainly edible. I suspect that they would also be good pickled; the bones would likely soften up after 2-3 weeks -- although I was wrong about that when I tried pickling Hiodon...

#9 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:32 PM

daveneely thanks,

Skipjack is what I should have indicated instead of Alabama shad. Looks like some threadfins will have to be rounded up for a taste test. They will be fried whole and possibly pickled whole if that is practical.

#10 Guest_frogwhacker_*

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 08:16 PM

I apologize if this is something already mentioned in one of the links, but my internet is being contrary this evening and I couldn't get them to pull up. Have you thought about putting some in some quart canning jars and pressure canning them in some type of sauce? Pressure canning could very well soften the bones up enough. A pressure cooker might also work. I sure wouldn't know how long to cook them though. It seems like a pressure canner might keep them whole a little better and they would be preserved longer too.

I've never tried threadfin either, but I sure wouldn't be opposed to giving it a shot.


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