Preparing and Cooking Dogfish
After catching hundreds of these b@stards I decided to give them a try. There's two main things a friend from the UK suggested, which is of course to clean them ASAP after catching. The second is to marinate them in something at least slightly acidic. There's a bit of science to this, as the urea that is in a sharks meat is slightly basic on the Ph scale, and marinating in lemon, lime, or even orange juice neutralizes any that remains in the meat. He said marinate at least a few hours, better if done overnight. Told me that since I just needed a lightly acidic marinade I didn't need to cover the fillets in 100% lemon juice. 1 part lemon juice to 3-4 parts water works fine apparently. Marinate in a baggie so that you can be sure every part gets soaked.
I kept 1 yesterday and cleaned it right after it was caught. I used this method to skin it, and it works pretty well if you use a rigid knife. Once I skinned it I cut the meat off the backbone of cartilage into fillets. There is a layer of red meat on the outside 1/8th inch that I removed. The raw meat has a tougher consistency than a fish, but not quite as tough as a scallop. Pretty similar to other shark so I'm told. I stuck the fillets in the fridge overnight, and in the morning I cut them up into smaller pieces and marinated in some lemon juice and water all day. Then dredged in a flour and light spice mix, did an egg wash, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried it up about 2.5 mins on each side.
The end result and final thoughts: Not bad at all. Basically, it tastes like a decent light fish. Pretty light flavor, and they took on a ton of the lemon flavor from marinating. Also took on a lot of flavor from the small amount of garlic salt I put in the flour. So be warned not to overspice, and be warned not to overcook. There was a thicker piece that I cooked longer than the others, and it got tough quick. Would I eat it again? Definitely, but the cleaning part isn't that fun and I can see how that'd turn a lot of people off from even trying them. The smell from the guts is a little worse than most fish (or maybe mine had just been eating chit), but I'd hope most fisherman that fish to eat aren't wusses and have a pretty strong stomach in this respect. However, even if I caught two dozen I'd only keep one or two. I'm told they don't freeze that well, at least not beyond a couple of weeks. So I don't see myself stocking my freezer with dogfish, but the next time I get pissed at them stealing my bait I might just cut up one or two for a fish fry if I'm not catching anything else.
nice write up pete. gonna have to try that.
Thanks. Here's some pics of a small amount I cooked up tonight. They make nice little fish sandwiches. Might steak out the next one and try grilling it with some various swordfish recipes. It's supposed to hold up pretty well on the grill with the red meat still on it, just hasn't really been grillin weather recently.