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how to cook without heat (Read 6509 times)
04/21/07 at 00:24:39
whenpigsfly   Ex Member

 
How does this work, I had fish and shrimp cooked in lime juice and other acids please explain.
 
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Reply #1 - 04/24/07 at 05:18:37
Luc_H   Ex Member

 
Hello Whenpigsfly,

Seviche, the cooking technique of using Lime juice to cook fish and sea food is one way to <cook> without heat. 
It is true that a piece of salmon left to sit in lime juice will become opaque, milky and change to a paler colour similar to how it would appear if it was steamed for example.

Heat and acid affect proteins (found in meat, fish, etc).  The term is denaturing which essentially means to render non-functional in a irreversible fashion.   Eggs is a good example on how denatured proteins manifests themselves:  an egg cracked in a hot skillet will change to an opaque. milky white from a watery clear liquid in the case of the egg white.  Eggs are less affected by acids which helps when making mayonnaise. 

Acids denature milk proteins which manifests as curdling yet cooking does not affect milk that much.

In the case of muscles (meat) both heat and acids denature the proteins in a similar fashion.

I hope this helps!
Luc H.

 
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Reply #2 - 05/26/08 at 11:03:27
jan   Ex Member

 
very interesting, i noticed that effect a couple of times with fish and lemon juice, never knew it got something to do with proteins. but it makes perfectly sense now.
 
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Reply #3 - 06/06/08 at 11:02:47
shooprxn   Ex Member

 
Hello,
One way for scientist to describe proteins is by their shape, which in turn corresponds to their molecular function.  A common model is the "lock and key", so if a protein changes shape from its normal natural state it does not work.  Hence a lot of research is performed  understanding the ins and outs of protein structure.

Ok so how does this have to do with your post?
All proteins have a "
natur
al" shape that allows it to fulfill its function.  This shape/structure of proteins is sensitive to changes in pH and in temperature.  Change either pH or temp and the protein may unravel or fold up in different ways, suddenly the protein is no longer in its
natur
al state but in a "de
natur
ed"  state. 
The acidity in lime and lemon juices lowers the pH enough that the proteins in seafood are changed from their natural state to a "cooked" or "denatured" state.  Basically you are using a chemical process to change the protein structure.  I hope this helps!
 
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Reply #4 - 06/06/08 at 11:10:24
shooprxn   Ex Member

 
PS, meant to add:

There are many different types of proteins, and each may react in different ways to changes in their chemical and physical surroundings.  So just because adding acid makes shrimp appear cooked, the same acid may denature proteins differently in other substances (ie milk as the post  from Luc_H explains very well).

 
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Reply #5 - 12/30/08 at 20:42:32

Jim Olejniczak   Offline
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Welcome to Cooking!

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ou don't "cook" without using heat.  However, as you are clearly implying, you can prepare some foods by use of common food acids. Ceviche (Seveche or Seviche by some), refers to a style of food preparation using citric acid found in limes and lemons and which is sometimes used with vinegar to prepare seafood dishes. It doesn't really "cook" the food, but the chemical reaction that occurs does make the food appear to be cooked as if by heat.

You marinate meat in vinegar (and other acids like the limes and lemons) to either flavor the food, or to help break down the chemical structure of the food in order to help different texture in the meat or, in some cases, help tenderize it.
 
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Reply #6 - 01/29/09 at 04:59:55
Derric   Ex Member

 
My major is cooking. I am often assigned writing essays on cooking topics. Custom research paper on cooking won't let you down.
 
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Reply #7 - 04/20/09 at 14:00:49
Arianna   Ex Member

 
Would this heatless cooking method have the same effect on a food's deterioration process as cooking with heat?  Can fish cooked with acids be stored in the refrogerator as long as fish cooked using heat?
 
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Reply #8 - 07/02/09 at 06:35:11
Floobynooby   Ex Member

 
Not heard of the technique before but whilst looking I came up with this which may be of interest.
http://ourman.typepad.com/omig/2007/06/how_to_cook_a_f.html
I think you need to be careful how long you leave the lime juice on for as its an acid and will eat away the fish.
 
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Reply #9 - 11/05/09 at 11:01:12
Mike Rane   Ex Member

 
Quote:
very interesting, i noticed that effect a couple of times with fish and lemon juice, never knew it got something to do with proteins. but it makes perfectly sense now.



Even some time i face the same problem.
 
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Reply #10 - 11/12/09 at 00:23:58
vick   Ex Member

 
The term is denaturing which essentially means to render non-functional in a irreversible fashion.   Eggs is a good example on how denatured proteins manifests themselves:  an egg cracked in a hot skillet will change to an opaque. milky white from a watery clear liquid in the case of the egg white.
 
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Reply #11 - 11/25/09 at 06:00:42
Hot Chillies   Ex Member

 
Denaturation is a process in which proteins or nucleic acids lose their tertiary and secondary structure by application of some external stress or compound, such as a strong acid or base, a concentrated inorganic salt, an organic solvent (e.g., alcohol or chloroform), or heat. If proteins in a living cell are denatured, this results in disruption of cell activity and possibly cell death.
 
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Reply #12 - 12/02/09 at 11:14:03

newuser212   Offline
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What is the avg. cooking time?
 
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Reply #13 - 12/17/09 at 06:43:15

lalachan   Offline
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Doesn't that work in the sushi's salmon as well?
 

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Reply #14 - 12/17/09 at 08:01:45
SimonWinchester   Ex Member

 
Cooking without heat? I'd never heard of this before - what a fantastic idea! I think I may need to try this, simply for the novelty value!
 
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