Fish Curing and Paul’s Spiced Marlin Ham on the Bone

Learn the proper way to cure a delicate protein like fish and put your newfound skills to use by creating a marlin ham.

| October 2019


When dealing with a protein as delicate as fish that’s prone to spoiling, it is important to understand the preservation methods that are needed in your culinary artillery to combat waste. The curing of fish has been seen for centuries as one such method of preservation – its primary function being to draw moisture out of food by the process of osmosis.

At Fish Butchery we use curing as a way to bring value to those less appreciated parts of the fish. Be it the hearts, spleen, thin belly flaps with little flesh, or those smaller fish that may be perfect to eat raw from days one to three but lose their lustre quickly. As we handle large volumes, we don’t see the need to purchase fish with the single purpose to cure. Rather, we cut what we need for fresh and the cuts that don’t present the way we want become cured or processed items.

I was fortunate when I opened Fish Butchery to employ the talents of Paul Farag. Paul had years of experience as a restaurant chef working in some of the best kitchens in both Sydney and London. The first day I spoke with him about working together at Fish Butchery, he was a little hesitant, as his previous experiences and training had been predominantly meat focused, but I felt this was in fact a huge advantage in terms of what I wanted to achieve.

Curing a fish that’s in season and at its peak is a way of suspending a particular moment in time that will yield a far better result. Just remember that when handling raw and cured fish, it is imperative that the strictest of hygienic conditions are demonstrated. Wear disposable gloves to handle your fish at all times and be sure to use sterilised containers for storage.

Paul’s Spiced Marlin Ham on the Bone

This extraordinary ham is one that Paul Farag developed very early on at Fish Butchery, and it showcases both his creativity and flawless technique. If you can’t find striped marlin, use tuna, albacore, swordfish, spearfish or moonfish instead. For this particular recipe, I recommend you use the lower half of the fish. Request that the fish be cut just below the anus so that the flesh that remains on the bone is free of pin bones (the shape of this section of the fish also resembles a leg of ham).



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