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Something Smells Fishy!

Posted on 8.10.2015

As Malaysians, we do consume a lot of fish on a weekly basis. Be it masak kicap, sambal or even masak lemak, a dish cooked with the freshest fish is sure to taste great. The other thing that makes a fish dish enjoyable is one without the unpleasant fishy smell.

So, why does fish have that unpleasant smell? It’s in a chemical called trimethylamine oxide that begins to break down once the fish is killed and exposed to air. You’ll notice that the fresher the fish, the lesser the stench. Otherwise, there’s more than just one way to reduce the fishy smell. 

Read on.

1. Milk

Soak the fish in milk for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse afterwards to get rid of the unpleasant odour. Milk bonds with the trimethylamine oxide and reduces the odour. 

2. Powdered Turmeric

Another great way to remove the fishy odour from fish is to give it a good rub with powdered turmeric. Leave it on for 30 minutes or so and then you can choose to wash it off or fry the fish that’s coated with powdered turmeric. 

3. Vinegar

Mix vinegar with fresh water and soak the cleaned fish in it for about five minutes. Then, rinse it and dry with paper towel before marinating or cooking it. 

4. Lemon

Lemon works just as well as vinegar. Drizzle some fresh lemon juice over the cleaned fish and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then, dry the fish with paper towel before cooking. 

5. Salt

Salt works best with catfish. When you’re done cleaning the fish, rub salt over the fish and leave it aside for 5 minutes. Then, wash the salt away. This helps reduce the fishy smell in fish before cooking. 

6. Ginger

Besides adding flavour to a fish dish, ginger also rids of the unpleasant fishy smell in fish. Just crush the ginger and rub it over the fish and leave it on for about 30 minutes before cooking it. Also, if you plan on steaming the fish, you can julienne the ginger and steam the fish.  

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