Whether you’re an active angler, recreational fisherman or just enjoy eating fresh caught seafood one complaint that stands out amongst many fish eaters is that sometimes fish contain a much stronger fishy taste than other times, which is true and can vary from not only one species of fish to the next, but one fish to the next as well.
The first thing you’ll want to do is clean your fish as soon as possible. The longer a dead fish sits the stronger the “fishy” smell becomes which has a direct effect on the taste of the meat from the fish.
Keep your catch cold and if you’re freezing your fillets freeze them in a bag mixed with ice water, this will help avoid freezer burn and preserves the fish better. If you’re eating your fish the same day you can store them in an ice water bath to keep them cool and fresh.
But even a fresh fish can have a strong fishy taste, even without a strong fishy smell, however there is one simple and easy trick you can do to remove that strong gamey fish taste and turn every catch into a flavorful feast.
After you’ve filleted your fish, one of the best things you can do to remove the fishy taste from your catch is soaking it in milk. Buttermilk is probably the best thing you can soak it in, but even regular whole milk or 2% milk works wonders. Since discovering this easy marinating solution I don’t cook fish without it.
The science behind the milk removing the fishy taste is that milk bonds with the trimethylamine that begins to form once a fish dies, which is a component largely responsible for the fishy smell and taste in fish. You can soak it for as little as 30 minutes and start seeing a noticeable result, however I typically soak mine for up to 8-12 hours with excellent results.
Once your milk marinade is complete, remove the fillets from the milk bath and blot them dry with a paper towel, and you can season and cook the fish any way you like and you should see a more than noticeable improvement in the fishy taste of your favorite fish meals.