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Thread: Pickled Smelt?

  1. Back To Top    #21
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    Sorry people, been chasing a couple of hot fishing tips last evening and today. And as the saying goes "You should of been here yesterday" kinda applied to both tips. So here is the recipe I have for pickled northern pike, handed down to me from my dad and mom.

    Filet any size northern, as normal (you do not need to remove the Y bones). I however remove the lateral line and ALL THE RED MEAT from the skin side of the filet. Do not freeze.

    This recipe is for 1 quart of fresh northern, so you will need to take it times however many quarts of fish you have. I usually do 1 gallon at a time and I use an empty and cleaned 1 gallon glass dill pickle jar to brine my fish.

    Cut fish into 3/4" by 2" pieces, place fish into a crock or class jar with 5/8 cup pickling salt and 1 cup white vinegar per quart of fish . Put into refrigerator for 6 full days ( I shake the jar twice a day). After 6 days, remove fish from brine and rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Then cover fish in cold water for 1 hour ( I add ice cubes). After 1 hour drain very well.

    Slice 2 (or more) medium onions, per quart of fish.

    Then mix the vinegar sugar solution as fallows. 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup Silver Satin wine. (Good luck finding Silver Satin wine anymore, the last time I used Tisdale white wine) and 1/4 cup pickling spice. (you can just put the pickling spice into the solution as is, but it will not taste the best when you chew into a piece of the spice when eating the fish, so I cut a piece of clean, thin, cotton dish towel, big enough to hold the 1/4 cup of spice and zip tie it shut), (4, for the gallon of fish that I am making) and add it to the solution. Heat solution until sugar is dissolved (do not bring to a boil) let this solution cool before adding to the fish. ,

    In a quart jar, pack a layer of the brined fish, then a layer of onion, then a layer of fish, and so on, into the jar until the jar is full of fish and onion, (in the middle of the fish and onions, I put a "packet" of the pickling spice) then fill the jar with the cooled vinegar sugar solution until it is full.

    After 48 hours in the fridge (or more) in the vinegar sugar solution, you can enjoy your pickled fish.

    These jars of fish need to be kept in the refrigerator.

    I know this is a lengthy process (and post) but if you want firm pickled fish, it is worth it.

    PS. The guys that I work with, absolutely love this stuff.

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    Decided to stick with tried and true. I'm leaving the smelt for bait.Name:  20180328_123030.jpg
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    FJ, Looks great ! do you freeze the fish before processing ? heard your you spose to kill any parasites but also heard it leaves the fish mushy

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    I always freeze prior and have never had mushy fish. Almost too firm.

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    First of all let me say "I am not a scientist" but in the recipe I posted above, after soaking in vinegar and salt for 6 days, I would venture to say all parasites should die. But then again I have been known to be wrong a few times in my life.

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    The parasites are cysts and dormat, waiting for that particular mix of digestive juices and prolonged warmth to come out, eat and make eggs. The acid won't take care of them. Or the salt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tikkalover View Post
    First of all let me say "I am not a scientist" but in the recipe I posted above, after soaking in vinegar and salt for 6 days, I would venture to say all parasites should die. But then again I have been known to be wrong a few times in my life.
    Soaking some right now.

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    Double Barrel Saloon

  8. Back To Top    #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tikkalover View Post
    First of all let me say "I am not a scientist" but in the recipe I posted above, after soaking in vinegar and salt for 6 days, I would venture to say all parasites should die. But then again I have been known to be wrong a few times in my life.
    The recipe is on point! Thanks!

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    Double Barrel Saloon

  9. Back To Top    #29
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    Northern "Y" bones dissolve when pickling - right. No need to remove them.

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  10. Back To Top    #30
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    Like FJ40 always freeze my fish and use silver satin, never mushy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sl1000794 View Post
    Northern "Y" bones dissolve when pickling - right. No need to remove them.
    Yes, the Y bones do not need to be removed. They don't really dissolve but they get very very soft. For those of you that freeze your fish this recipe also works, but its just a preference of mine that I don't use frozen fish. Have been eating it this way for around 45 years and as far as I now I don't have any parasites.

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  12. Back To Top    #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by fj40 View Post
    Running low on pickled fish. Got a few pike in the freezer but also have a ton of smelt. Anyone here ever pickle smelt? Too Oily? I would imagine I would have to remove head,fins, guts, maybe skin?
    If you get a tip on the smelt run this year, Id love to head up to the lake to do some netting, I just never get notification in time. BTW smelt make great garden fertilizer...

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  13. Back To Top    #33
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    Tikka, bout to whip up a batch. Was gonna give your recipe a try this time. You sure you got the initial brine correct above? 5/8 cup salt to 1 cup vinegar seems a bit strong.

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  14. Back To Top    #34
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    Just went for it. I assume the rinse and soak before jarring takes care of it.

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  15. Back To Top    #35
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    Yes that is the correct mixture of salt and vinegar for the brine. The rinsing process does take quite a bit of the brine out of the fish.

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