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We fry fish after applying Mustard seed paste, turmeric, and salt to it.

So, if now we apply the three ingredients and keep the fish for certain hours aside, will marinating affect the "taste" of the fish?

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I'm not sure what you're asking here - perhaps it's too simple. Are you just asking if marinading imparts flavour? –  ElendilTheTall May 25 '12 at 16:08
    
@ElendilTheTall I am asking "will marinading affect the "taste" of the fish?" not too sure about the meaning of "imparts flavour". :( Yes, this may be a dumb question, but I need to know the importance of marinading. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 25 '12 at 17:22
    
Marinating means soaking in a seasoned liquid. Are you just letting the fish sit with a spice paste rubbed on the surface? That's a little different. –  Jefromi May 25 '12 at 17:45
    
@Jefromi Ah yes. :( Instead of soaking the fish in liquid, we rub the paste on its body and let it sit. Is that of any help? Thanks for replying. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 26 '12 at 1:22
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, marinating, or letting sit with a rub (which is what you're doing) does help fish flavor.

However, for most fish, there's no point in marinating filets or steaks "for hours", since fish flesh is very porous and spices, acids, oils and other flavorings achieve maximum penetration in less than an hour. The exception to this is dense-fleshed fish, such as swordfish, tuna, and opah, which can be marinated for longer -- up to 8 hours. Also, if you're applying a rub to whole, skin-on fish, you do want to wait an hour for the spices to "soak in".

The other exception is salt. There are recipes where you want to salt fish, and let it sit and drain for between 2 and 8 hours to firm up the flesh or change the flavor.

The above is paraphrased and summarized from Jay Harlow's West Coast Fish, and confirmed by my own experience.

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Thanks for responding. Is there any particular benefit of specially salting the fish and letting it sit for hours? –  TheIndependentAquarius May 28 '12 at 4:35
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