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Sometimes the fish pulled out of the gulf have an iodine smell. Most people don't seem to be bothered by it, but my delicate palate is offended, and I can't eat the fish.
Porgy seems to be the fish with the most iodine smell. I've caught eight or ten red porgies in a row then one will come up smelling strongly of iodine (we don't keep them if they sense that way).
Last night we had a fish fry with recently caught Sheepshead dipped in flour, seasoning, egg, and Panko. This is usually a treat that the whole family loves. While cooking the fish, I was getting the smell of iodine. When we sat at the table, my wife and I were the only ones who seemed to taste the iodine. It was enough of a sour flavour to turn me off the fish. The rest of the people never noticed and gorged on the fish.
Bromophenol is what gives the fish the iodine smell and flavour. It comes from the fish eating algae or worms high in bromophenol or from eating shrimp that have recently consumed organisms high in bromophenol. I have read that the smell is temporary and will dissipate shortly after the fish has fed.
The part I'm having trouble with is how to lessen the smell and taste of fillets and shrimp before cooking. Has anyone out there successfully dealt with an excess of iodine smell?
My other question is why the sheepshead I caught had a strong iodine smell. I have seen hundreds of sheepshead from the same area and never had the same strong iodine smell permeate the meat. The only thing I can think of is that the site has been undergoing dredging. Maybe the sheepshead is eating large quantities of worms dug up in the dredging process.
 

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Maybe a good coat of mustard? You can't taste it after it's cooked, but I would think it would affect the iodine smell/taste significantly...

Never tried it on shrimp, but it'll make mediocre fish taste mighty fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been researching the issue most of the morning. There are a lot of people out there that associate the iodine taste with spoilage which is completely wrong. It comes from the fish eating organisms high in bromophenol.

The little bit of info that is out there points to several solutions but nothing definitive.
1. Milk seems to come up frequently. That's the first one I'll try.
2. Placing the fillets in a brine solution for 15 minutes seems to also be a popular measure to mitigate the iodine smell and taste. I'll try adding salt to the bucket of ice I place the fish in for transport from the marina to my home (if they small like iodine).
3. Soak the fillets in water with a couple tablespoons of baking soda added. If one and two don't work, I'll try this approach.
 

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I don't want to mask the taste so much as I want to neutralize it. Sheepshead is a fine eating fish. I want it to taste like sheepshead not mustard.
There in lies the problem. Sheepshead are like canned vegetables...they'll get you through the winter when nothing else is available, but once spring arrives so do the flounder, snappers, trout, grouper, etc. So for now, just soak'm in mustard and milk, choke'm down, and look forward to spring.:whistling::D :D
 

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There in lies the problem. Sheepshead are like canned vegetables...they'll get you through the winter when nothing else is available, but once spring arrives so do the flounder, snappers, trout, grouper, etc. So for now, just soak'm in mustard and milk, choke'm down, and look forward to spring.:whistling::D :D
I agree, Sheephead is nothing to brag home about, I can tolerate it only if I use the poor man's lobster recipe. I would even go as far as saying Speckled Trout being put in the same category, I personally don't like the taste hence why I haven't gone fishing for any this winter. Everything else I'll pretty much lay the smack down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dip in seasoned flour, dip in egg, dip in Panko, dip in hot oil, dip in chili chutney (or mustard sauce), eat.
A limit of 15 fish per person of white meat fish that weight an average of 2-4 pounds will make a lot of peoples tummies happy.
I have made many meals of sheepshead for lots of people. I have never been told it is a mediocre tasting fish. It's all about how you prepare the fish.
 
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