Sturgeon is a freshwater fish, its age is about 250 million years old and it appeared in the Jurassic period.
All over the world, sturgeon meat is considered an exquisite delicacy. Due to poachers, who caught this fish in huge quantities for the sake of black caviar, the sturgeon population has significantly decreased. So much so that today this species is on the verge of destruction, it is listed in the Red Book, and its extraction in natural conditions is prohibited.
You can legally buy sturgeon only from owners of aqua farms where fish grows for caviar production. This is a complex and very costly production: the sturgeon begins to spawn only after 10–20 years of life, and all this time, it needs to be provided with special conditions of detention.
Deep-purified ozonized water, attentive care, feeding with a mixture of fishmeal several times a day – all this resembles a spa resort with daily procedures and a well-established regimen.
Sturgeon meat composition
Under the sturgeon scales, you can find a huge amount of vital substances:
- vitamins – PP, C, groups B, D, tocopherol;
- eicosopentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids;
Considering why sturgeon is useful, we should note that polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially Omega-3) are of particular importance in its composition, which have a positive effect on all human tissues and organs. Their daily consumption contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular pathologies, ensures full functioning of the joints, and improves the condition of hair and nails.
Why is sturgeon meat useful?
Firstly, the nutritious sturgeon meat contains essential amino acids, vitamins, useful polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, minerals, phosphorus, and potassium. Its flesh tastes almost meaty due to glutamic acid in fish, a natural flavor enhancer.
Sturgeon is good for the brain and cardiovascular system; it is beneficial for atherosclerosis or other diseases associated with high cholesterol because fatty acids can break it down and promote its excretion from the body.
Nutritionists noted that eating sturgeon normalizes blood pressure, improves metabolic processes, and affects skin regeneration. In addition, it is a dietary product: sturgeon is not high in calories, but it still has a high energy value due to its high digestibility.
Harm from sturgeon meat
Unfortunately, along with the excellent beneficial qualities of the fish, there is the harm of the sturgeon due to its ability to accumulate toxins in the tissues. Fish living in sewage can cause serious poisoning. Pesticides and dioxins are often found in its flesh, which pose a serious threat to health.
High levels of mercury in fish caught in Oregon last year led researchers to argue that sturgeon harm due to hazardous compounds should be a contraindication to eating the delicacy for women of childbearing age, young children, people with liver, kidney, and pancreatic diseases.
The harm to sturgeon can become quite significant for health if the fish is not properly processed during its cooking. It is a carrier of botulism, the pathogens that easily get from the intestines of marine life into caviar and meat. Suppose to make mistakes in the processing of raw materials. Poisoning with a delicacy associated with technology violations for preparing a product is a fairly common occurrence.
How to choose a sturgeon
When choosing any fish, including sturgeon, you must first pay attention to its appearance and smell. It is also not worth ignoring the information on the labels if the fish is packaged in separate containers or packages. Buying spoiled or expired fish can be harmful to your health.
It is worth paying attention to:
- the larger the sturgeon, the better and tastier it is;
- butchering sturgeon implies some nuances, so when buying this fish for the first time, it is better to know in advance the intricacies of its preparation;
- the smell of sturgeon should be fresh and “fishy”;
- in sturgeon fish, the gills are always dark in color (besides, the gills should be clean, without mucus or contamination);
- sturgeon skin should not have even the slightest damage (bacteria quickly accumulate and begin to multiply at the site of damage, so the fish can begin to deteriorate without changing the smell or appearance);
- if you press the sturgeon skin with your finger, then no deformation should be observed (in this way, any chilled fish is checked);
- if you buy sturgeon cut, then you need to pay attention to the skin, which should fit snugly to the meat (otherwise, the fish is of poor quality);
- for the frozen sturgeon or in ice glaze, the ice should not be cloudy or contain particles of debris, as well as blood (a large amount of snow or ice indicates repeated freezing of fish);
- sturgeon steaks may differ in color (the meat of this fish breed has different shades depending on the subspecies – grayish, cream, or pinkish);
- a strip of fat is permissible on a sturgeon steak (visually fat is very easy to distinguish from meat, it is usually located under the skin);
- the belly of the sturgeon should be pinkish (any spots of unknown origin, blotches, or other shades are considered a deviation).
- When buying fresh sturgeon chilled or live, it is imperative to ask the seller for a certificate stating the date the fish was put on sale. Fresh sturgeon can be sold only within 14 days.
It is a great fish with excellent nutritional characteristics. Its juicy, soft meat resembles poultry, pork, or swordfish. The piquant taste of the delicacy is due to glutamic acid, which gives the fish the taste of meat. The sturgeon fiber structure is firm and dense.
Without certain skills, you can turn delicious meat into a dry, overcooked, and tasteless dish, so it is better to use the cooking technologies of professionals to create a culinary masterpiece from sturgeon.
Excellent meaty fish goes well with vegetable side dishes, cereals, sauces, and is placed on the table as an independent dish.
Sturgeon. How to cook?
- Grate with garlic, salt, and grill.
- Fry in beer batter.
- Make a shish kebab with vegetables.
- Boil fish soup with herbs.
- Prepare a tender, rich hodgepodge.
- Make aspic with exquisite decorations.
What ingredients does sturgeon combine with?
- Dairy foods: sour cream, cream, cheese.
- Oil: olive, cow, sesame, sunflower.
- Egg: quail, chicken.
- Mushrooms: porcini.
- Fruits: citrus fruits.
- Berry: olives.
- Vegetables: asparagus, radish, potatoes, tomato, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, capers.
- Cereals: rice.
- Sauces: soy, oyster, garlic, lemon, mayonnaise, Tabasco.
- Greens: onions, dill, parsley.
- Spices, condiments: nutmeg, black pepper, bay leaf, ginger, cumin, thyme, basil.
- Alcohol: sherry, dry white wine.
The scope of the fish is wide and varied. It is perfectly fried, stewed, stuffed, used as a pie filling, smoked, etc. With a certain skill and ability to combine the ingredients correctly, you can prepare a delicious sturgeon dish in just 20 minutes.
STURGEON IN THE OVEN WHOLE
- Sturgeon 800
- Green onions 20
- Parsley 20
- Bulb onion 120
- Vegetable oil 50
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Mayonnaise 60
- Lemons 0.25
- Lettuce 30
STEPS of COOKING
- Step 1. Let’s prepare all the necessary ingredients for cooking. Lettuce leaves will decorate the sturgeon when served. Therefore, you can take any of your choices.
- Step 2. First of all, we will defrost the fish if it is not freshly caught. This is best done in the refrigerator, which will allow it to thaw in the best possible way. Fish of this species are rather slippery due to a large amount of mucus. And with ordinary water, it will be done with great difficulty. To clean it without much effort, we need regular salt and paper napkins. We take salt in our palms and pass it along the fish’s body from head to tail.
- Step 3. Wipe the collected mucus with salt with a paper napkin. Continue this until the fish is completely free of mucus. Remove the scales from it, but I left large thorns. They add a unique beauty to the ready-made fish. Now we will thoroughly wash the sturgeon and dry the paper towels.
- Step 4. Cut the abdomen and remove the insides and clotted blood along the ridge (Vizag). We also remove the gills. This must be done without fail so that the fish does not acquire a bitter taste after cooking.
- Step 5. Wash and dry green onions and parsley. Chop finely.
- Step 6. Cut the lemon in half. We remove one part. We will need it a little later for decoration. Cut off the zest from the other half and set it aside for now. Cut the zest into thin strips and add to the chopped greens.
- Step 7. Add mayonnaise and mix.
- Step 8. Salt and pepper the sturgeon outside and inside the belly. Fill the abdomen of the fish tightly with the resulting mass and fix it with toothpicks. Please note that her skin is quite thick, so I advise you to make preliminary punctures with a knife.
- Step 9. Lubricate the foil with some vegetable oil. Peel the onions and cut them. Place the bow on the foil along the length of the fish. This will be our vegetable pillow, which will prevent our sturgeon from sticking to the foil in the future.
- Step 10. Carefully transfer the fish to the foil and lay it belly down on the bow. Cut the delayed lemon with zest into thin half-rings. If the lemon is large and the fish is not very large, then cut the half rings in half again. We will make shallow cuts on the back, insert lemon slices into them and the gills. We’ll remove the rest for decoration.
- Step 11. Squeeze the juice from the leftover lemon after cutting the zest. Mix vegetable oil with lemon juice and grease the sturgeon thoroughly.
- Step 12. Carefully wrap the sturgeon so as not to tear the foil. Pour a little water on a baking sheet or like mine in a large baking dish and put the fish.
- Step 13. Put the mold in a hot oven and bake the sturgeon at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. In general, the cooking time for sturgeon depends on its size and weight. It takes up to 30 minutes for small fish and up to 1 hour for large fish.
- Step 14. Take the sturgeon out of the oven and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Then carefully, inside hot steam, free the fish from the foil. Decorate the plate with lettuce leaves, the remaining slices of lemon and onion. We transfer the sturgeon to a plate and, depending on preference, serve it hot or cold.
- Step 15. Bon appetit.
When cooking a dish baked in foil, take into account the peculiarities of your oven and be guided by the cooking time for it, not according to what is written in the recipe. If you cook a dish for the first time, follow a few helpful tips:
- divide the total cooking time by 4
- every quarter of the total time, open the oven and check the degree of readiness of the dish
- don’t be afraid to unfold the foil for a more accurate check
- in order to unroll the foil more conveniently, always leave a “seam” on top of it
- if you wish, you can determine the degree of readiness without unrolling the foil by making one or two punctures in it with a toothpick
Remember, the quality of the foil also matters.