In this brief article, we will answer the question,”Can you eat tarpon?” We will discuss what tarpon tastes like and the procedure to poach and debone tarpon. We will also discuss how to make fish cakes from tarpon.
Can you eat tarpon?
Yes, you can eat tarpon but most people do not usually like consuming them because of their strong pungent smell, fishy taste and the presence of these small hard to clean bones.
Also catching a tarpon is usually very challenging and therefore it’s not worth the time owing to the fact that they don’t taste as great.
What does tarpon taste like?
Tarpon is known to have a rich and gamey taste that is like most other bonefishes. Most people usually complain that the fish has a very fishy smell and taste and it also has too many bones which makes the eating experience less enjoyable.
However, the taste can be improved to make the fish much enjoyable by cooking it the right way when you use the correct ingredients. Let’s delve more into that.
In order to eat tarpon ensure that you first cook it to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit so as to kill any bacteria, virus and parasites that can lead to foodborne diseases.
To prepare a bony fish like tarpon you require to first poach it, remove the meat out of the bones and then make some sumptuous well seasoned fish cakes.
How do I poach and debone tarpon?
Take a large pot and place in 2 quarts of chicken broth, set your burner on High heat and place the pot on it.
Cut down your filets into small pieces that can fit into the pot without an overflow.
Ensure that you keep an eye on the broth and when it just begins boiling, lower the heat down to Medium high. As the liquid slows down and starts simmering (when you can see movement of the liquid without any bubbling) place in the filets in the broth to enable them to cook.
When the tarpon fish is done which should be in about 10 mins remove the pot from the stove. You can use a large spoon to enable you to scoop the tarpon from the pot and place it on a serving plate to cool off.
When the fish has cooled down enough for manual handling, manually pick the meat from the bones. You can then place the meat in a bowl and throw away the bones.
How do I make fishcakes from tarpon?
First you will need to grind the fish meat in a food processor for a short time. The end result should be small chunks of meat and not a paste. After doing the grinding, return the ground fish to the bowl.
Take a large bowl and add in ingredients which include a finely diced onion, a finely diced green bell pepper, about 3 pounds of nicely mashed potatoes, 4 egg whites, Dijon mustard, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix them thoroughly using a spoon or fork.
Take some flour and dust it on the kitchen counter, scoop a heap of a tablespoon of the fish mixture from the large bowl. Roll it up into a ball and flatten it into a cake on the dusted counter. Repeat the process with the rest of the fish mixture.
Take a frying pan and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Place a layer of the fish cake and allow them to cook until they turn crispy on the edges. This should take you about 3 mins. Ensure that you cook on both sides by flipping them over and cooking for another 3 mins.
Remove the cooked fish cakes from the pan and drain the excess oil on paper towels.
Proceed and repeat step no.4 for the rest of the fish cakes, cook and remove them placing on the paper towel to drain the excess oil. Cooked fish cakes can be kept warm by putting them in the oven until all the batches are cooked.
In this brief article, we have answered the question,”Can you eat tarpon?” We have discussed what tarpon tastes like and the procedure to poach and debone tarpon. We have as well discussed how to make fish cakes from tarpon.
You can learn more about tarpons such as how to freeze them here.