Womer fish: photo, description, useful properties and recipes
Womer or selene (Selene) - an unusual fish belonging to the family "mackerel", class "perch". It is popularly nicknamed the moonfish.
- Womer: what kind of fish, how it looks and where it is found
- How it looks
- Where does it live
- What it eats
- Breeding process
- Species population and status
- Composition and calories
- What is the womer useful for the human body?
- Harms and contraindications
- Rules of storage
- Where to buy and how much costs
- How to cook delicious womber fish: Recipes
- On the grill
- In the oven
- In the frying pan
- How to smoke womers
- Hot Smoking
- Cold smoking
- What does the fish taste like?
- Bony or not?
- Is womer poisonous?
- Are they kept in aquariums?
- Interesting Facts
Womer: what kind of fish it is, what it looks like and where it is found
What does it look like?
The body is flat on the sides, which makes the head seem larger in size than the rest of the body. The forehead bones connect to the jaw at right angles. The lower jaw juts upward and the lip incision is oblique, creating a rather grumpy appearance. The eyes are edged with a silvery rim and are positioned on different sides, allowing them to see at a good radius. This flat-bodied structure makes the individual inconspicuous when viewed upright.
The back is curved in an arc with small needle-like fins. The abdomen is curved at an obtuse angle with long, thin fins. The tail is small, transparent, and consists of two "V" fins. Scales are absent.
The color, as well as size, can vary depending on the subspecies of womers. The coloration varies from silvery-lunar to golden-greenish. The size can reach up to 90 cm. Although, on average, their length does not exceed 40. The average weight of an adult is about 1 kg.
Where does it live
Although the structure of fish similar to the deep sea dwellers, they swim at a depth of no more than 60 cm. They like muddy and sandy bottom of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Canada, the United States, Portugal and all of Africa. Also distributed in western European part of the Atlantic coast. Juveniles come into freshwater estuaries.
What it feeds on
A predatory flock of selenium (another name for womers) goes out to hunt at night. Thanks to their mirror coloring and flat structure, they reflect light from themselves, which makes them almost invisible to their victims - small fish and fry. Smaller members of the flock prefer shrimp and crustaceans. Sometimes they manage to get sea worms by digging the bottom sand. Large specimens have to grind clam and snail shells with their small, strong teeth to eat mollusks.
The breeding process
Fish spawn in the summer. Conception is traditional for most species - the male inseminates the eggs of the females. Representatives of stachyderms are absolutely irresponsible parents. They abandon their numerous offspring to the mercy of fate after dropping their eggs directly into the water. Millions of eggs are left unprotected by their ancestors who swim away. So they become easy prey for other predators.
According to the classification, there are several subspecies of selenium. The principal difference between Pacific and Atlantic species is the different structure of fins on the back of the juveniles and the scaleless body.
- Peruvian. Occurs on the eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean from Peru to the California coast. Does not exceed 40 cm, features not identified.
- African species chooses habitat in the Atlantic waters of Peru up to South Africa. Size does not differ from the standard.
- Brevoorta storms the Pacific waters from Ecuador to Mexico. The maximum length of the fish is 37 cm, slightly smaller than its Atlantic counterparts.
- Mexican selena swims in the Pacific Ocean along the coast of Mexico as far as Colombia. Its adults do not grow larger than 33 cm.
- The Caribbean womer swims from Mexican waters to the coast of Brazil and is the smallest representative of the species with a maximum height of 2 cm.
- West Atlantic seleniums. They are often confused with the moonfish because of their gigantic size compared to other relatives. The body length reaches 60 cm and weighs an average of 4.5 kg.
- The common womer. An inhabitant of Canadian Atlantic waters to Uruguayan lands. An adult weighs about 2 kg with a maximum height of 48 cm.
Population and species status
Because of the harsh living conditions, the newly hatched parents abandon their offspring. Therefore, only one in five thousand eggs survives and continues to struggle for life. The fry only reach maturity because of their transparency and their ability to quickly evade pursuit. From birth they have to adapt to the harsh realities of the ocean. It is thanks to these adaptive abilities that the population of womers is preserved. Unfortunately, the fish have not learned how to hide from predators like humans. Large commercial catches do more damage to the species than all of its marine enemies. Humans hunt mostly large fish, leaving flocks without natural protection. Thereby endangering the existence of the population. In some countries, noticing a decline in numbers, a ban on selenium fishing is imposed. Restrictions are also imposed on the weight of the catch that can be caught each year. But the status of protected fish has not yet been assigned to them.
Difficulties arise with accurate counting, as there is almost no way to record the number of fish in large schools. Periodic bans on fishing give the fry a chance to grow and create new offspring, thereby continuing to reduce losses in the population in the natural environment.
Recently, artificial rearing of womers for production purposes has become common. This has undoubtedly had an effect on their numbers in the ocean. Life expectancy under natural conditions reaches seven years.
Composition and calories
The fish is considered dietary, due to nonfat white meat - only 1.9 g per 100 g, the protein component is quite high - 23.6 g. There is no carbohydrate content. The calorie content is 105-112 kcal.
In its composition womers collected useful nutrients:
- Omega-3 and amino acids.
- B vitamins.
- Potassium, iodine, phosphorus, zinc and even iron.
What are the benefits of womers for the human body
Due to its composition, with a reasonable consumption of fish, you can get a lot of benefits.
- Due to the high protein content and low fat mass - the inclusion of womer in the dietary diet will help to achieve good results in weight loss and normalization of metabolism. The fish is quickly digested by the body. Digestion copes with processing in 2 hours, which makes it especially useful to eat it for dinner.
- Due to its vitamin content, the consumption of womers strengthens the immune and nervous system.
- Omega contributes to the reduction of cholesterol and the prevention of atherosclerosis of blood vessels, and as a consequence of heart attacks and strokes.
- Due to the minerals, fish is useful in the development of various iron, iodine deficiency and other types of anemia.
Harms and contraindications
Any healthy food can cause harm if consumed thoughtlessly. There are no direct contraindications to eating selenium. The exception is an allergy to seafood.
Important! It is not recommended to eat womera in large quantities to people with an excess of iodine in the body.
Rules of storage
- Freshly frozen selenium in production freezers can be stored at temperatures no higher than -18 degrees for eight months. For such long storage, it is recommended to cover the products with insulating material - tarpaulin, film, etc.
- In the store, frozen fish is stored at -5-6 degrees for no more than 2 weeks, at a temperature of about 0 - for 3 days, in the absence of cold rooms - the period decreases to one day.
- In the refrigerator, smoked fish will retain its unchanged flavor for 5 days. Cold smoking - up to 14.
If the rules of storage in the chain of transportation are not followed, product defects can appear. The most common ones are:
- Drying. The meat loses color, becomes stiff, the fats are broken down, and an unpleasant odor occurs as a result.
- Deformation of the carcass occurs when it is not turned in time during freezing or during storage in a pile and as a result of thawing.
Where to buy and how much it costs
The ideal place to buy womers would be fresh fish bazaars in port cities. Unfortunately, for our region, this is not widely available. Frozen products can be found in Russian stores and markets. Hot and cold-smoked seleniums are more common as an appetizer for beer.
Prices for fresh-frozen raw materials from 350 p per kg. Smoked products - from 850.
How to cook womer fish deliciously: recipes
You can cook womers in any way. Its flavor is perfectly disclosed when grilled. There are also methods of baking in the oven, stewing and boiling. But the most favorite is smoking.
The method of cutting in any type of cooking is quite simple. The absence of scales makes the process much easier. The skin should be washed, incised from the anus up to the back, cleaned of innards and rinsed with water.
On the grill
- After cutting, rub the fish with your favorite spices and salt, sprinkle with vegetable oil.
- The grid should be well heated and smeared with oil.
- Fry for 7-10 minutes on both sides.
- It is better to use a grate with two plates. It will save from problems with turning and breaking the fish into pieces when picking it up with a spatula.
In the oven
Recipes of this fish prepared by baking are perfect for a diet dinner.
Selena baked in the oven on a bed of vegetables
- The fish should be cut in the way described above. It is also recommended to remove the skin.
- Season with spices.
- Place a bed of vegetables on a baking tray lined with parchment paper: onions, carrots, tomato rings.
- Place the fish on top of the vegetables, drizzled with lemon or lime juice. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
- At the end you can add convection mode or grill to create golden crust.
When serving the finished dish, sprinkle with finely chopped fresh herbs.
Baked with sauerkraut
- Cut the stripped fish into slices.
- Sprinkle with spices without salt and slightly fry in breading made of flour.
- Sauerkraut Fry the sauerkraut in the tomato and onion and sauté for 1 hour.
- In the same dish, put the fish and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve this extraordinary dish hot.
In the frying pan
For fans of crispy fish crust, recipes for cooking womers in a frying pan will do.
- To fry 3 fish, its fillet should be cut into 8-10 cm thick slices and salted. Beat 1 egg with a fork.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, adding in the finely minced garlicand spicy dried herbs. This way of preparing the oil will give the fish an unusual aroma and a slight spicy flavor.
- Dip fish pieces in egg and then roll in breadcrumbs.
Fry in a pan with the lid off 5-8 minutes on each side until golden crispy.
Tip! You can also pan fry fish without breading. To do this, the fish should be thoroughly washed and rubbed with salt and herbs. The whole carcass should be fried on both sides in oil. The skin turns out especially tasty this way.
How to smoke womers
This fish is excellent for smoking. Its rich flavor will be a wonderful addition to the hop drink.
To prepare for any kind of smoking the fish should be pickled beforehand. The salt is an antiseptic and antioxidant. There are different methods of salting fish: the classic in brine, dry, with oil. All of them require time from 5-6 hours to a day for the fish to marinade completely.
- For dry pickling the fish is filled with salt in a container and left in the refrigerator for 10 hours.
- The classical way marinade like this: in a pre-prepared brine womera soak for 12 hours.
- The brine marinade makes the fish taste delicate, but also increases its energetic value. For this purpose, oil and lemon juice are added to the brine after it is boiled. And then act according to the classic technology of marinade.
Stunningly golden color and unprecedented flavor has a womers smoked by hot method.
- To do this it is necessary to prepare the smokehouse by installing a grease trap and filling the bottom with sawdust.
- After the fish has passed the stage of marinating in any way, it is distributed at a distance of 1-1,5 cm from each other, hanging by the tail on the grate.
- The device for smoking close the lid and maintain a temperature of 100 degrees for an hour, then slowly lower it for 50 minutes.
This way you can smoke fish even in the multicooker.
- Pre-marinated fish, dip a towel and grease with vegetable oil.
- Put it in the multicooker on a special grid, turning on the mode "cold smoking".
- After 1.5-2 hours you can enjoy the dish.
If there is no smoking program in the multicooker, you can also use the smoker on the alder sawdust.
- Pickled fish hang upside down on the grate.
- Smoke at 25 degrees for 5 days.
- Grease the ready products with sunflower oil.
What is the taste of fish?
Roasted or stewed vomer has a slightly sweet taste. The meat is tender and white.
Cold-smoked fish will have a mild stewed flavor, slightly similar to peled fish.
When hot-smoked, it resembles mackerel, but less fatty and refined.
Bony or not?
Womers have bones, of course. But they are mostly long vertebrate ones. The smaller ones are practically non-existent.
Is the womer poisonous?
Rumors about the womer being poisonous are not confirmed by anything. A detailed study of these fish has not found any evidence of dangerous poison in them.
Are they kept in aquariums?
The wommer can be kept in a home aquarium. But you must take into account that it is a gregarious species of fish and they do not live alone. Also need a volume of at least 500 liters only for the young, for adults - about 3 tons of water. Therefore, this type of fish is kept mainly in large oceanariums.
- Some studies claim that the fish can communicate with each other within the flock by grunting softly. Or with louder sounds scare off enemies.
- At a 45 degree angle, the fish are very hard to see.
- The womers' spine differs in structure from other fish. It curves from the pectoral fin upwards.
- The selenium caught at night does resemble the moon in its glow and shape. This is evidenced by photographs of sailors who caught it.
- Egyptian fishermen named the fish Ben-Gurion because they believe it reminds them of the profile of the Israeli prime minister.
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