I think almost everyone is aware of the microbes present in meat or any fish varieties, but I have seen people using fishes/meat, without even washing them properly. It is a very unhygienic practice that can lead to health problems. Some people may say that the microbes gets killed in the cooking process but there are certain varieties that need a higher temperature and longer cooking time to get them killed, and of course we are not going to cook fish that long. Apart from the microbe factor, there will be soil, scale and dirt sticking to the fishes, you definitely have to remove these as soil and scale is not gonna disappear or get killed anyway while cooking!!
Washing fishes or meat properly is a must. It is not a very long process, it takes just minutes. It is our duty to prevent the family from falling into illness. So better take serious care to wash them properly before cooking.
Another advantage of cleaning fishes using this procedure is that it removes the odor, May be, not fully, but upto a bearable level.
I have not explained the initial process of how to scale, gut and chop fishes, but I've explained about the washing process done after removing scales and chopping.
I get fishes from the Indian fish markets where the fishes are scaled, gutted and chopped, but not cleaned, I have found scales still sticking on the fishes and even the intestines not removed properly so I duly check all these before cooking!!
Washing Process (not chopping or scaling process)
Before cooking fishes do the following;
- Pick your fishes.Check for any scales and remove them with a fish scale remover or your nails or a knife. Just run your knife across the fish to remove scales.
- Do the gutting process, check and remove the intestine if present (it is not good for you).
- Rinse well in water water and wash well 3 times or more until the water seems clear.
- Then add a spoon of turmeric powder and salt to the fishes.
- Coat the fishes well on all sides of the fish pieces and set aside for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes wash the fish pieces well once again.
- Use for cooking.
- If you want to remove odor from the fish pieces add lemon or vinegar during marination. Use juice from one lemon for 10 fishes.
I have used sardines to explain pictorially, but the cleaning part is the same for any fish.
This process helps remove odor to some extent, microbes and any kind of impurities!!
Using the same method you can also wash meat pieces. Finally don't forget to wash your vessels and sink properly using a good detergent to avoid contamination!!