Getting caught up in survival situations in the wilderness for many days is never ideal. However, in wartime you will hear a story or two of a sole survivor escaping the enemy, vanishing and appearing months or years later. If one day you’re unfortunately stuck in a situation where your stomach groans from hunger, deep behind enemy lines, there is hope. Without a doubt, staying without food will jeopardize your ability to make informed decisions, and this is probably the reason the U.S Armed Forces Survival guide recommends taking freshwater fish since they are less prone to bacterial and parasitic infestation.
Bacteria can thrive and reproduce optimally between 39.2 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That is why it is best to cook the meat until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. This destroys the bacteria cells and prevents them from multiplying significantly.
Still, if you are caught up in a dire survival situation and do not have the tools to cook the meat, you do not have much choice other than to eat it raw.
The trick here is observing the saltwater and also the meat temperature. It is much better to eat raw since the water greatly assists in killing bacteria and parasites. The salt in the water forms a hypertonic solution where a greater concentration of solute is present outside the bacteria cells than inside those cells.
The bacteria cells lose their water content to strike a balance through a process known as osmosis. When they release that water, they shrink up and die. Not only is consuming the fish raw a significant morale boost to get some meat but also it provides you with protein that your body needs to repair muscles.
Types of fish that can be consumed raw
Contentious debates have rocked the discussion regarding the type of fish that can be eaten raw. It is imperative to mention that these types of fish are raw seafood approved by the Japanese culture since Japan is the mother of raw seafood preparation.
Tuna is the favorite pick for raw fish recipes. It is very meaty and firm; it has a mild flavor and a fantastic texture, exemplarily to several seasonings, sauces and marinades.
Salmon is another type of fish to make it to the list as it is a highly famous choice of raw dish main. Its texture is appealing and has a mild flavor giving off a rich and smooth taste. At the same time, it is famous for pickling and curing even though these cooking methods are not particularly regarded as raw.
Sea Bass, which is nearly the same as the flounder, is a wonder-fish that can be eaten raw as it is lean, tender and mild. The flounder is an underrated raw seafood that is tender and delicate, very lean, and mild.
Preparing Raw Fish
It would be best to begin by examining it to ensure that the flesh is still steady and does not have any discoloration or evidence of damage or visible tears. Slimy skin, dull-colored gills, and milky eyes are additional signs you should look out for to confirm that your fish is not suitable for consumption.
If the fish has a foul smell, it is no longer eligible for consumption. Next, it is essential to eliminate as many scales as you can with the help of the back of a knife with enough pressure to avoid bruising the flesh.
If you are unfortunate to lack a knife, you can work with an even and sharp rock. Essentially, you should eliminate the fins and gills in any fish, and also, any fish that exceeds 4 inches has to be gutted. With the help of your sharp equipment, cut starting from the tail to the neck to expose the body cavity.
Afterward, you will find yourself eliminating the guts effortlessly with minimal assistance. When removing the guts, be very careful to avoid puncturing any internal structures since it can contaminate the whole flesh and necessitate further cleaning.
As always, this is a last resort and you should absolutely find any other means to cook the fish. If one day you find yourself marooned on an island in the Pacific with nothing but the clothes on your back you at least know there are options. Sh*tty options, but options nonetheless.