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Thread: Who eats Hooligan?

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default Who eats Hooligan?

    I'm planning to go dipnetting for hooligan for the first time this year. During one of my deployments, my wife and kids had dinner with Ramey Smyth and his family and they had Hooligan. (My sister is married to Ramey's cousin.) All of my kids loved the Hooligan, so I am planning to use it primarily for food for the family.

    I'd appreciate any good recipes, and ideas for how to package/preserve them. My wife told me the Smyths served them whole, but can't remember how they were cooked.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    I've got some squarehead friends down Oregon way who jar 'em up whole....I usually pass
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    Default Euchalon . . hooligan . . .

    I grew up in Michigan eating smelt . . absolutely love 'em.


    It seems hooligan are a salt water smelt, and to me, they are good but not quite as good as smelt . . kinda mushy. Try brining the hooligan before cooking . . that helps . . firms them up a bit.


    Roll in 1/2 flour-1/2 fine corn meal (or just flour), fry quickly in hot grease . . s & p to taste.


    We put our smelt up whole, frozen in water in the old 1/2 gallon milk cartons. Thaw, clean them with scissors . . snip off the head, one snip down the belly, scrape out the guts, brine them for 30 minutes or so . . pop 'em in the pan.


    What time is dinner . . ?

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! Looks like my neighbor and I will head down to Twenty mile this Thursday and see if they are in yet. I've read about the brine advice before - what is the recommended salt to water ratio?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    . . what is the recommended salt to water ratio?

    1 gallon water to 1 cup Kosher salt . . can be reduced: 1/2 gallon water to 1/2 cup Kosher salt


    Don't use table salt but if you must, cut the salt by half


    Good luck . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    1 gallon water to 1 cup Kosher salt . . can be reduced: 1/2 gallon water to 1/2 cup Kosher salt


    Don't use table salt but if you must, cut the salt by half


    Good luck . .
    Thanks Marcus, I appreciate the info!

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    What Marcus said....and......

    If you are squeamish about eating them whole use sissors to cut the heads off, cut open the belly, and pull the guts out. You can leave the fins and tail on as they get crispy when fried, (kinda like potato chips), and the bones get soft enough to eat. Or you can pull out the bones after cooking.

    They are great smoked!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post
    What Marcus said....and......

    If you are squeamish about eating them whole use sissors to cut the heads off, cut open the belly, and pull the guts out. You can leave the fins and tail on as they get crispy when fried, (kinda like potato chips), and the bones get soft enough to eat. Or you can pull out the bones after cooking.

    They are great smoked!
    Thanks, my neighbor has a smoker, so we'll try them both ways.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    I eat lots of them smoked, same brine as my salmon go in. I also really like them sprinkled with creole seasoning and fried, no oil or anything in the pan, they have plenty of their own. I definitely gut them, I tried the "eat them whole" thing back in washtington with smaller pacific smelt and it was GROSS!! My opinion of course...

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    I gut them, head them, then smoke lightly with no brining. Put in 1/2 pint jars and can them with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Just like king Edward brand kipper snacks if you ask me. Delicious.

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    Alright I have gotta try these **** little fish..lol. They are really starting to sound tasty...

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    they make nice fish burgers. bake a pile of em for 20 minutes, separate the bones, dice up some green onions, fresh dill, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and mix the hooligan 50/50 with rice.

    Fry the fish patties till crispy on both side......good fish burgers

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    Just for your information. Last year we did well on May 29th and June 2nd on the Su. It only took about 10 minutes each time before we had more than we could handle. Heres a photo of one single netting. Good luck to you.
    DSCN0606.jpg

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    I smoke them and can't keep em...we literally tear em up!!

    Great snack!
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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Question for the smokers....just a basic fish smoking brine like you would use for salmon or something a little different?
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    Pretty sure answer is yes. I use the same I have for salmon. Everyone loves it so why change.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Question for the smokers....just a basic fish smoking brine like you would use for salmon or something a little different?
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    We believed that hooligan, larger than smelt, didn't eat during their spawining runs, so we just fried and ate 'em whole. We were just old timers, I guess . . . . .

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    Default How I brine . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Question for the smokers....just a basic fish smoking brine like you would use for salmon or something a little different?

    It's my personal opinion that salt is all that's needed to make the brine for whatever—fish, turkey, etc. I think that probably all the extra ingredients are essentially wasted. I used to make up fancy brines with lots of exotic this-and-that but could never tell any difference between that and what I do now.


    I use Morton's Sugar Cure, a dry brine. Lay out my fish, cover it with an 1/8th inch or so of sugar cure, let stand for a couple hours, rinse, pat dry . . under a low-speed fan for a couple more hours to form the pellicle, and into the smoker they go. Anything extra such as maple syrup, black pepper, etc. is added when they go in the smoker or while the fish is in the smoker


    Attachment 70501


    When brining a turkey or other, I use a simple salt brine . . one gallon water to one cup Kosher salt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    I smoke them and can't keep em...we literally tear em up!!

    Great snack!
    I'll save some for ya. Maybe I'll even go to the Big Su around the end of the month or beginning of June like 907pride mentioned for another load if this run turns out to be a success. If they are running strong, I'll be filling a 44 gallon rubbermaid trash can with them.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Make sure you render some for oil as thats where their real value lies.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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