Seafood

Cooking with Shark



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Cooking with shark meat is just like cooking with most fish, with a few extra details to pay attention to. You may notice a bit of an ammonia smell to the fish which is natural. To neutralize this, soak the fish in a light brine or milk for 15 minutes to half an hour before cooking. Also, trim away any dark meat that is left along the lateral line or under the skin as this can produce an unpleasant taste.

My favorite way to eat shark meat is grilled. Shark meat doesn't have a lot of fat naturally, so you'll want to marinade it before grilling. Your favorite salad dressing will do for marinade, or you can simply mix one up with a bit of oil, herbs and spices, and a touch of lemon juice, white wine, or rice wine vinegar. Shark meat is very mild in flavor, so whatever you decide to use for seasoning will transfer well to the meat itself. To make sure the fish doesn't stick to the grill, put a light brush of oil on the grill before placing the shark meat on it. Another way to keep any fish from sticking to your grill is to place the fish on a bed of heavy leaf lettuce (like romaine). This works well is you are not going to be turning the shark meat over, as would be the case if you are cooking a fillet that is less than one inch thick.

Shark meat, as all fish, cooks quickly and is not so nice to eat if you overcook it, so pay close attention once it's on the grill. Generally, 10 minutes per inch of thickness is all the time needed to fully cook fish, including shark, if you're cooking at temperatures around 400. When grilling, I treat it much the same as a fine steak, cooking for 6 to 7 minutes on the first side, then turning and cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. When properly cooked fish will have an opaque quality visually, and will flake easily when tested with a fork. To test with a fork, insert the tines of the fork about one-quarter inch into the flesh, then pull to the side. The shark meat should pull away from itself in flakes. Once this happens, pull the shark off the grill and let it rest a few minutes before serving.

Shark meat is very versatile to cook with. Whether grilled, baked, steamed or poached, this light colored and light tasting fish is naturally low in fat. There are some concerns to pay attention to when cooking with shark meat, however. Pregnant and nursing women, and children should limit their consumption of shark, as with tuna, due to mercury levels. To find out more about mercury in fish, check out these websites; www.cfsan.fda.gov/seafood1.html and www.epa.gov/ost/fish.

As with all foods and consumables, too much of anything isn't good for us, but don't be afraid to eat a little shark once in a while. Better than having it eat you!

 

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