1561 The Crimping of Fish

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Le Guide Culinaire

By Auguste Escoffier

Published 1903

  • About


Although the crimping of fish is exclusively an English method of cooking, it is still thought important enough to warrant an explanation in this chapter as to its preparation. This method of preparation is applied above all, to salmon, cod, haddock and skate; the first three of these may be prepared whole or in sections but skate is always cut into more or less large pieces, after having been skinned on both sides.

In order to crimp a whole fish it should be taken five as it leaves the water, laid on a flat surface and then deep lateral gashes cut in both sides from the head to tail, 4–5 cm ( in to 2 in) apart; the fish should then be placed in very cold water to soak for 1 hour.

When it is to be prepared in sections it should be cut as soon as it has been caught and these should be soaked in very cold water as for the whole fish.

But does this method which makes the flesh firmer really influence the quality of the fish as much as the connoisseurs would lead us to believe? It would be rather rash to support this view and opinions are divided on the subject; however, what is certain is that fish prepared in this manner has many fervent supporters.

Whole or in sections, crimped fish are always cooked in boiling salted water and its cooking poses a real difficulty because the fish should be removed from the cooking liquid at the precise moment when it is just cooked. Overcooking results in a loss of the special characteristics obtained by the use of this method.

Crimped fish should be served in the same way as all boiled fish and the same sauces are applicable. It is customary to send at the same time a sauceboat of the cooking liquor.