Same Old Smoked Catfish, Many Uses
Many of the various smoked catfish uses stem from the nature of fish as a source of vital nutrients required by humans and domesticated animals that humans keep.
It is widely accepted that “fish is a lean and highly nutritious food source that contains high amounts of vitamins, proteins, minerals, little or no saturated fat and is low in carbohydrates.
Smoked catfish has many uses as a relatively cheap source of protein globally.
Besides being used as food for human consumption in various forms, it is also used for animal feed in combination with other ingredients. It is one of the most important foods available in the tropics ”
Smoked Catfish Seasoning
Smoked catfish can be used as fish seasoning alone by itself or together with other ingredients and component to make other fish-based seasonings.
Though fish seasoning is quite popular, many people may not be familiar with smoked catfish seasoning as the product is not common.
Due to the peculiar nature and taste of catfish, it can also then bring both aroma and taste to any type of cooking when it is used as a seasoning in it.
Since smoking the fish reduces its water and oil content, it lends itself to use mostly as a dry seasoning. In this form, it can be used in soups and various sauces.
In this form, it can also be used in salads just by sprinkling it as a crushed product. As always we make a note to add the caution that care must be taken to ensure that all bones are moved before it is crushed and packed for use.
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Smoked catfish – Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fish Oil
Catfish is a very good source of fish oil which contains a sizeable quantity of Omega-3 oils. Omega-3 fatty oil has many uses and a wide range of medicinal applications in the pharmaceutical industry.
There’s strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. There also appears to be a slight improvement in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, although an increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol also was observed
What is even more remarkable is that the good news is that fish oil is a by-product of the smoking process of smoked catfish.
Smoked catfish processors can therefore produce fish oil as an additional source of income by collecting, refining and purifying the oil extracted from the fish during smoking.
See also: Health Benefits of Smoked Catfish
Smoked Catfish Brine
The main reason smoked catfish is very popular is its taste.
However, one of the major determinants of the final taste after smoking is the brining process.
Preparing the smoked fish brine is an essential part of the smoking process. It is therefore most important to get this right to achieve the best taste.
Secondly, the brine also determines how well the finished product comes out not just in taste but also in appearance.
Thirdly, since it is unlikely that most of the smoked catfish produced would be consumed immediately, it is necessary to ensure that the smoked catfish will also store well.
The shelf life is greatly impacted by the brining process.
So for these reasons, one must pay attention to it.
A brine solution is a mixture of salt in water at a particular concentration. For smoked catfish, a suggested concentration of 14% is recommended.
The ratio to use is 1.5:1 of brine solution to the fresh weight of the catfish. This means that if you are planning to brine 1 Kg of catfish, you should put the fish in 1.5 Litres of brine solution at room temperature.
The brining process should not usually be more than about 10 mins.
Here are some useful suggestions when brining fish as shared by some experts:
- Recommended to use Kosher rock or sea salt for brining
- If you have to do multiple batches of smoking, it is advisable to always mix a new brine solution from one batch to another. For one, the concentration changes after each batch and hene need a new brine batch to ensure consistency of the brining process. Secondly, it ensures that you do not transfer any contamination from one batch to another in case you have a batch that is contaminated.
- Note that how well salt dissolves in water is a function of the water temperature. The recommended concentration of the brine solution is at room temperature. If for any reason your water is not at room temperature you must get it to room temperature firs
- Break any salt lumps you may have before use. Breaking the lumps ensures it dissolves evenly
Smoked Catfish Spread/Dip
The use of smoked catfish as a spread is again another example of how versatile smoked catfish is as a protein source!
As a dry tasteful and flavourful ingredient, it can be included in the preparation of any regular spread as a source of protein.
If it is desirable to be visible in the spread then it could be ground into just tiny bits using a blender or food processor (after it has been deboned as usual)
Here are some other suggestions to use it as a spread:
a. Always remove the skin, any foreign matter (stick or cardboard if any), guts and gills before use
b. Make sure all bones are removed before use
c. Choose a strong blender or food processor since the dried smoked catfish flesh could be quite tough (hard)
d. If you do not have a very strong blender, then soak the flesh in hot water just for a few mins to soften and tenderize it first before use
If it is to be used as a seasoning, it is best to blend it into smooth powder and missed with the other ingredients. In this case, it is used as a source of flavour to complement the other ingredients.
Smoked Catfish Stew
Smoked catfish stew is a delicacy in many parts of West Africa.
Apart from its awesome taste and delightful flavour, it is a veritable source of protein in many homes.
Whether it is the main protein in the dish or as a supporting “cast” of other proteins, catfish is always a delight when sighted inside a typical tomato stew.
You only need to look below for a visual representation of a catfish stew. It is simply irresistible.
So why do people value this a lot?
First, the recipe is quite simple and the ingredients such as catfish is usually quite readily available.
Plus, if the catfish is well smoked, it can last for a long time and hence be available to be used at a short notice so comes in handy when you want to whip up something simple to use as a source for example to eat rice or yam.
Here is short video showing similar smoked catfish uses for soups
Further proof that smoked catfish stew is a delicacy is how it is priced in many of eateries and local restaurants.
It is not surprising that smoked fish would normally be sold much more expensively than other proteins!
Finally, as a source of healthy proteins, this recipe appeals to many health-conscious eaters who would rather spend a bit more to maintain their weight-watching habits.
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Smoked Catfish Salad
Smoked catfish can very well be used as the protein ingredient in many salads. Chief of these is Caesar’s salad.
Now, here is a note of caution: Since smoked catfish has a lot of bones care must be taken to ensure the fish is deboned thoroughly before it is used in these salads to avoid any incidents.
Caesar’s salad is just one example of its use.
It can also be used in other salads not just as the main source of protein in them but also as an ingredient within the salad cream or in flavouring it.
Blended smoked catfish can also be sprinkled in these salads to give it the aroma or flavour or both.
These multiple uses also explain the fish’s versatility as an everyday use source of protein.
Smoked Catfish Sandwich
The wonderful taste of the smoked catfish can also be integrated into your regular sandwich.
For food lovers all over, the regular sandwich offers the best opportunity to have a healthy home prepared meal at work.
So why not also include your smoked catfish to enhance the quality of the sandwich?
When used in sandwiches, it is best to ensure the smoked catfish is not too dry so that it blends well with the bread ad other ingredients you may choose to add to the sandwich.
It is recommended to use crushed smoked catfish for the preparation of the sandwich. In this way, it lends well and mixes well with the other items such as tomatoes, lettuce or other ingredients you may want to produce a delicious tasty healthy lunch.
While this is always a tasty treat, as we recommend all the time, ensure that all the bones are removed as part of the preparation process to avoid any potential incidents.
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Smoked Catfish Cakes
Whether you are a food gourmet or not, many people sometimes like to experiment with different food combinations to produce unique and innovative food products.
Some people could decide to use fish powder to season various types of cakes to enjoy their aroma and distinct taste. Once you get the smoked catfish either crushed or in powdered form, there is virtually no limits to what you can do with it.
You can get as creative as you can with it.
Just always note that before you use it make sure to remove the bines so that you can enjoy it as safely as you can.
Smoked Catfish Snack
If you are like me, I enjoy eating (more like snacking on) dried smoked catfish!
What I don’t know that I like more is whether it is just the taste or its crunchy chewy feel.
Whatever the case I could sit down and take down a couple just by themselves and a nice cold drink.
Smoked dried catfish especially when nearby is something I like to snack on as my late-night snack when I am studying or doing some serious work.
It is such a stress reliever and relaxation activity to snack on it!
Again, just a note of caution here: Although in most cases, if the fish is well smoked the bones are brittle and hence reasonably easily chewed, one must always be careful not to be enthusiastic chewing them without paying careful attention to the bones.
To enjoy the fish properly as a snack then take note of the following:
1. Check to see if there is any foreign matter such as sticks or cardboard. Sometimes a piece of stick or cardboard is used to stick the fish tail in its mouth. So always check that there and none of these present
2. Check that the gills and guts have been removed. Although this is not absolutely necessary, the problem is that if you don’t get rid of the guts you could eat the gall bladder which turns out to be bitter and hence spoils your mouth.
It is always better to take these parts out of the fish before consuming it to avoid such an occurrence.
3. Debone, debone, debone. I can’t emphasize that enough. Always ensure you take out the flesh and remove the bone before putting it in your mouth. The good thing is that once the fish is smoked it is easily broken in half along its length and the bone easily taken off.
Everyone can enjoy smoked catfish snacks as frequently as they like.
For one since it is a healthy snack, there is absolutely no health risk about consuming it.
Secondly, you could take it with a drink or simply with water, it can just be taken by itself without having to worry about something to accompany it.
Smoked catfish uses are varied and numerous.
In fact, you probably are only going to be limited by your amount of creativity and how adventurous you want to be.
From eating it as just a snack to combining it in sophisticated recipes, smoked catfish lends itself to various uses both for humans and animals.
So, get creative and put it to use.
We love to hear from you about the best way you are enjoying the different smoked catfish products. Use the comment section below.
We welcome and appreciate your feedback.