In this post:
- the correct name for a fish slice – what it is and what it isn’t
- size is important
- rigidity is important
- finding the right fish slice
- old-fashioned fish slices – used for serving, not cooking
My old friend, had-it-for-years, non-stick fish slice sadly bit the bullet. It was by mistake put directly onto the hob and melted.
I hadn’t appreciated my old friend. I thought replacing such a simple item would be a cinch. It wasn’t.
The correct name for a fish slice
Firstly, getting the vernacular right produced an obstacle. Like a rose, a fish slice by any other name – food turner for example – can prove as useful when searching on the internet.
However, what a fish slice definitely isn’t is a spatula (I was a bit surprised about the confusion on this subject). A fish slice fans out in shape and has draining holes. A spatula is either a long, flat utensil for smoothing surfaces – cake icing for example, or a slightly concave, flexible utensil for getting every last drop out of a mixing bowl.
Size is important
Then finding a fish slice big enough to turn an entire fish fillet proved difficult. Finding a food turner rigid enough to actually turn food also proved testing.
Rigidity is important
Real rigidity is also important (oh dear! Am I having a series of actress said to the bishop moments?) for scrapping away the lovely crispy bits of fried potato, or the gorgeous gungy bits when you deglaze anything…. but you don’t want to much of a good thing… the fish slice should have a little flexibility in order to allow it edge its way under delicate food without breaking it, such as a fried egg for example.
You’d have thought that such a useful utensil would be ubiquitous – far from it. There are loads of floppy silicone tools around (what they are used for remains a mystery).
Finding the right fish slice
There are masses of small tools which would break the back of any delicate fish fillet.
I searched the internet, making an especial study of both the mighty Amazon, and the excellent Lakeland.
I could find only one solution: Metaltex Britannia Large Fish Slice with Thermo Rubber Handle. It’s not silicone, but it doesn’t need to be.
Even this has its drawback – the handle isn’t searing-hot proof. But at least it does the job. And it’s available, inevitably from Amazon, currently at just over £3.
Old-fashioned fish slices
Originally a fish slice was a Victorian silver utensil used for serving fish, not cooking it.