At DRY AGER™ Australia, we are passionate about our product. So, we love pushing the boundaries of what it can create both in terms of flavour and experimental new possibilities.
So, during January of 2022, the team conducted one of our most ambitious trials yet – dry aging fish. Fish, as a more delicate protein, can take greater care to properly dry age. We chose a whole Barramundi (2.196kg) and a Snapper (0.632kg) to trial the process on.
Over an 8-day period, we monitored the fish, studying the colour change, weight-loss and finally the taste.
The early stages of the dry aging process showed us the colour draining from the fish and the skin hardening, as moisture was leached out of the flesh.
Then, as it progressed, the fish actually began to look fresher. After the full 8 days trial we had two gleaming, clear-eyed fish. This is because dry aging fish removes the moisture, including residual blood and slime, that creates a fishy odor. Dry aged fish is cleaner fish.
After 8-days, we filleted the fish to view the results on the inside. The muscles and tendons in the meat had greatly broken down, leaving the flesh more tender than before.
The final product: a crispy-skin, perfectly grilled fillet of creamy, melt-in-your-mouth fish that punched far above its weight in depth of flavour.
This loss of weight is mostly from the removal of moisture from the flesh.
The successful trial allowed us to qualify some questions we are often asked regarding dry aged fish:
The most important tip to note when dry aging fish- USE FRESH FISH!
This is vital when dry aging any type of meat but is especially so for fish. You also need to ensure your fish is dry before putting into your DRY AGER™ – wet fish is at risk of growing mold.
The whole philosophy of dry aging is to take the natural qualities of a protein – such as taste and texture – and heighten these to their zenith. We proved that while it takes careful monitoring, this can be achieved with fish.
It undergoes the same radical transformation in terms of taste and texture as other proteins during the process and can still be treated and cooked the same as a fresh fish once aged. Some restaurants even offer dry aged sashimi on their menus for the truly adventurous.