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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After catching a bunch of shad last weekend, and telling myself I WILL try smoking and canning some this year, I finally pulled the trigger and did it.

The process I did was the following:
-De scalled and washed off the fish, then I filleted them.
-Brined them for a day or 2 in regular brown sugar and sea salt mix.
-Smoked them at 100 degrees for 3 hours.
-Pulled the skin off, since I didn't do that prior to smoking. I also removed the dark fat line.
-Packed them in half pint jars. Put minced garlic in all, and spicy oil in some.
-Pressure cooked/canned them at 10 lbs for 100 minutes.
-Let cool, and dove into a jar today.

I opened the jar and was hit by garlic and fish smell. I admit, it was fairly strong. Nothing compared to the smell of them while processing, though. 馃ぎ I was looking at it and saw what I thought were bones. I immediately thought that the canning didn't melt them as advertised. I was wrong. I got a spoon and took a big ole bite... chewed, and smiled! It was absolutely delectable! Very, very hard to tell the difference between that and tuna, IMHO. the garlic and smoke compliments the fish to a tee. I then made shad sandwiches, and also tried sharp cheddar cheese and crackers. WOW! Where have you been all my life, shad? I will definitely be doing more of this in the future. I will only fillet the big ones from now on, and save the rest for crab bait. If given the option, I'd still prefer turning these fish into crab. You can best bet I will be having jars of this on hand as well! Give it a try, you will be shocked as to how good it is.
 

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Yeah i've definitely made canned shad that tasted a LOT like tuna. Definitely doesn't seem like it should, but it comes out that way sometimes. Tastes so much better than you expect based on how it smells leading up to that point.
 

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Wow, thanks for the report! I can barely stand handling the things for bait, so I doubt I could stand to execute the process to that degree, I would have to do it outside. If we didn't get a virtually unlimited supply of tuna every year, I might consider it. I tried frying up some roe, since people pay big money for that on the east coast. My results were not to my liking, so I never did it again.
 

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Last couple of years I've done a modified version of this and yes, it is delicious. Actually, we prefer it over Salmon now for making dip and sandwich spread...

Scale and filet.
Brine with standard Salt / brown sugar brine
Smoke for about 1.5hours with alder wood.
Move to an Instant Pot and pressure cook for 40minutes (add a cup of water for steam/pressure build up). Use a Trivet or small rack to keep them off the bottom. Don't overload the Instant Pot.
After releasing the pressure, let it cool a little.
Vacuum pack and throw in the freezer.


I've been doing this because I don't have a 'large' pressure cooker and I personally don't like storing all the glass jars. Also makes it easy to throw these vacuum packed fish in the cooler to take on trips without worrying about the glass and breakage.
The Instant Pot does the pressure cooking and dissolving of the bones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm glad to hear of the instant pot doing the same job. I will definitely try this in the future. I also like the idea of freezing grab and go packs. I will try this as a spread to try out as well! Thank you for the word, Jeb.

Three much, seeing as how I don't have access to a regular tuna boat, I guess this is my version of it. :giggle: I'd have to get a real good recipe for the roe. I don't see me eating it that much, but I also said the same for shad at one time.
 

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Honestly, the roe is my favorite part. Think of it like a fish meatball/sausage. I like to blanch with boiling water for like thirty seconds to firm it up. Then batter and fry. Top with brown butter sauce+capers. Good stuff.
 

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Wow, thanks for the report! I can barely stand handling the things for bait, so I doubt I could stand to execute the process to that degree, I would have to do it outside. If we didn't get a virtually unlimited supply of tuna every year, I might consider it. I tried frying up some roe, since people pay big money for that on the east coast. My results were not to my liking, so I never did it again.
I tried out the roe a couple weeks ago...fried. It definitely had a fishy taste to it...wasn't terrible, though. I don't need to eat it again, however. lol
 

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After catching a bunch of shad last weekend, and telling myself I WILL try smoking and canning some this year, I finally pulled the trigger and did it.

The process I did was the following:
-De scalled and washed off the fish, then I filleted them.
-Brined them for a day or 2 in regular brown sugar and sea salt mix.
-Smoked them at 100 degrees for 3 hours.
-Pulled the skin off, since I didn't do that prior to smoking. I also removed the dark fat line.
-Packed them in half pint jars. Put minced garlic in all, and spicy oil in some.
-Pressure cooked/canned them at 10 lbs for 100 minutes.
-Let cool, and dove into a jar today.

I opened the jar and was hit by garlic and fish smell. I admit, it was fairly strong. Nothing compared to the smell of them while processing, though. 馃ぎ I was looking at it and saw what I thought were bones. I immediately thought that the canning didn't melt them as advertised. I was wrong. I got a spoon and took a big ole bite... chewed, and smiled! It was absolutely delectable! Very, very hard to tell the difference between that and tuna, IMHO. the garlic and smoke compliments the fish to a tee. I then made shad sandwiches, and also tried sharp cheddar cheese and crackers. WOW! Where have you been all my life, shad? I will definitely be doing more of this in the future. I will only fillet the big ones from now on, and save the rest for crab bait. If given the option, I'd still prefer turning these fish into crab. You can best bet I will be having jars of this on hand as well! Give it a try, you will be shocked as to how good it is.

Nice work! I keep telling myself I will do that, too...I think I have enough caught that next trip I will try it...hard to put in the effort to do this when I have a freezer full of halibut, Ling cod, and Kings lol.
 

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Great report and thanks for sharing whethole! My father years ago mentioned that somebody once gave him a jar of canned fish but didn鈥檛 tell him what it was until after he ate it. My dad said it was fantastic and couldn鈥檛 believe it when the person had told him it was smoked shad.
Any reason you don鈥檛 skin the fillets from the start so you don鈥檛 have to descale them? Afraid the slime will taint the meat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice work! I keep telling myself I will do that, too...I think I have enough caught that next trip I will try it...hard to put in the effort to do this when I have a freezer full of halibut, Ling cod, and Kings lol.
What else are you gonna do with your time and shad? 馃槅 It's worth a squirt. Be sure and bleed em out and ice them down. They even spray blood like a little tuna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great report and thanks for sharing whethole! My father years ago mentioned that somebody once gave him a jar of canned fish but didn鈥檛 tell him what it was until after he ate it. My dad said it was fantastic and couldn鈥檛 believe it when the person had told him it was smoked shad.
Any reason you don鈥檛 skin the fillets from the start so you don鈥檛 have to descale them? Afraid the slime will taint the meat?
I de scale them when whole, mainly due to it being harder to fillet them. Those scales are tough to cut through. I will try to skin them prior to smoking next time to see if there's a difference. I don't think it was tainted meat, though. The slime is mainly on the skin, amd if you hose them off after scaling, it greatly reduces the slime. It's also pretty easy to peel the skin off like paper after smoking.
 

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Nice, the fishy and strong garlic smell tends to dissipate over time and spices soak into the meat. It only gets better sitting for a few months after canning.
 

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I only prefer to eat the roe nowadays It requires just a simple salt and pepper and maybe a dash of garlic powder, and pan fried. Don't deep fry or overdo it with batter or other spices. I used to eat the shad meat itself. Usually in the slow bake method at low heat for 5-7 hours. It comes out tasting exactly like canned tuna. But, as I mentioned, I only eat the shad roe now, since its easy to cook and I like its taste and texture better than fish meat.
 

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I tried out the roe a couple weeks ago...fried. It definitely had a fishy taste to it...wasn't terrible, though. I don't need to eat it again, however. lol
This was exactly my thoughts. That's not horrible. A little fishy. I probably don't need any more. But I will try just about anything once!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Damn you guys. Now I need to fry up some roe. I'm with three much, I will try almost anything once. Even sharp grated cheddar cheese on ice cream. 馃槑
 

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Damn you guys. Now I need to fry up some roe. I'm with three much, I will try almost anything once. Even sharp grated cheddar cheese on ice cream. 馃槑

Cheese on ice cream...never heard of such a thing...I will try anything once...next on the list is Belut!

I think the worst so far that i've tried was fermented soy beans...
 

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Damn you guys. Now I need to fry up some roe. I'm with three much, I will try almost anything once. Even sharp grated cheddar cheese on ice cream. 馃槑
Sharp cheddar on apple pie with a scoop of vanilla on top...I'd eat that again well before shad, because that's way past "not horrible"!

If I am fishing lings or halibut, I like to use sand dabs, salmon bellies, or tuna bellies for bait, that way I can eat the extras and enjoy it and my hands don't stink of shad all day.

Nobody should be afraid of balut. Eating an unhatched egg is no grosser than eating an unfertilized egg, if you think about what it really is. And many, many millions of people like it alot. It's just a little crunchier!

Shad roe sells for big money on the east coast, like 12-20 dollars for a set. That''s pretty expensive food, someone must like it quite a bit.
 
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