To ensure more firmness to the flesh of a fish before cooking, an ancestral technique consists of salting and desalting the fish. Find out on Mise-en-Place how this is used in contemporary cooking.
Salting fish fillet preliminary to its cooking can be done in two ways: dry salt and brine. It is used to limit exudate – a result of coagulation of sarcoplasmic albumin – which occurs when the temperature is increased during cooking.
This salting, limited in time, aims to block the albumin inside the cell. To do this, salt – whether applied dry or in an aqueous solution – will increase the osmotic pressure inside the muscle cells of fish. From a microscopic point of view, the water cells are massaged against the cell walls, which they put under tension. As a result, these molecules block myoalbumin inside the sarcoplasm of the cell.
These two effects – pressurization of the cell and retention of myoalbumin – allow to modify the appearance of the fish as well as the perception of its color: the cod becomes whiter and the coloration of the salmon more intense.