Fish is one of the healthiest food out there and there’s so many ways to cook it. Grilled is a personal favorite of mine and it never fails to bring me joy and satisfaction. However, because there’s so many kinds of fish to choose from, most people find cooking it more complicated than it actually is. From looking for the right kind of fish to the preparation to the actual cooking, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. So to help you overcome this challenge, let me give you a few pointers that will hopefully help you the next time you decide you want seafood for your next meal.
- White fish have low fat compared to darker fish meat but the fat in fish is good for you because they contain omega 3 and they tend to have more flavor compared to the white ones.
- If you’re planning to cook soups, stews, or other slow cooking dishes, opt to go with the white fish because they’re leaner and are more able to retain their shape.
- To check for freshness, make sure the eyes are clear and the gills are red. Smell is also a good indicator; fresh fish will not smell fishy. As for the flesh, it has to be translucent and not soft. Keep fish frozen until cooking time.
- For bony fish, have the fish filleted or remove the bones manually by tweezers.
- Buy your fish from reputable and trusted sources. A good seller will tell you where the fish came from and what methods were used to catch it and will also give you a tip or two on how best to cook it.
Get your timing right:
- Different fish recipes will require different cooking times but for most, the 10-minute rule will apply.
- The sign of an overcooked fish is having dry and flaky flesh. Make sure you keep the meat moist. This something not a lot of people are aware of. You should stop cooking right after the flesh turns opaque. Keeping the fish in the heat will cause it to flake and will become tough.
- Thick cuts should be cooked five minutes on each side. Thinner cuts need not to be turned.
- For frozen fish or for fish wrapped in foil, double the cooking time.
Other cooking tips:
- Apply herbs and basting sauce or marinade before grilling. Otherwise your fish will taste bland. Butter and lemon juice is the easiest way to baste.
- When deep-frying, temperature of the oil should be around 350°F.
- Coat fillets and steaks in flour or bread crumbs when pan-frying.
- When baking, be sure to keep the fish moist. Stuff the cavity of the fish with herbs and spices.
- Sprinkle lemon juice all over the fish before you begin cooking to enhance the taste and to retain its color.
- Do not let anything go to waste. Leftover fish can be used in sandwiches and in salad.