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Cooking Techniques for Fish

Updated on June 16, 2011


Fish is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids is good for heart. Eating different kinds of fish helps to reduce your chances of stroke or heart attack. Healthy ways to enjoy fish include baked, poached, grilled and steamed. Fish requires cooking times at a high temperature. Below you will find cooking techniques for fish.

Cooking guidelines for fish:

  • You can allow cooking time 10 minutes per inch thickness for fresh fish.
  • Allow 20 minutes per inch thickness for frozen fish
  • Ready to cook when fish is opaque and flaky.

How to buy fish
How to buy fish

 How to buy fresh fish:

1. Look for firm and shiny flesh. Fresh fish should not smelly fishy.

2. Fresh fish have clear eyes and no cloudiness is present.

3. Gills should be bright pink or red and wet.

4. Fish fillets and steaks should be moist and no discoloration.

5. Brown or yellow edges and spongy consistency are all signs of aging.

Baked fish
Baked fish

Various methods for cooking fish:

1. Baking: Baking is easy way to cook fish. Rinse fish with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 425 degree and place fish in a greased pan or aluminium foil (coated with non stick oil spray). Brush with little oil and season with salt, oregano and pepper. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes per inch thickness. Delicious baked fish is ready to serve your guests.

To bake frozen breaded fish products, follow the directions on the package.

Barbecue fish
Barbecue fish

 2. Barbecuing: Barbecuing is a method of cooking fish at high temperatures over coals or open flame. Rinse your  fillets under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel. Brush with olive oil. Add some chilli powder, salt and oregano. Grill fish fillets skin side up over hot coals for about 2 minutes. Turn and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Finally transfer fish to the serving plate.

Pan fried fish
Pan fried fish

 3. Pan frying: Pan Frying is the process of cooking fish in an open pan using oil. Rinse your fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Place some flour, salt and chilli powder in a bag. Dip the fish in egg and then bread crumbs. Heat oil and add fillets in a single layer. Fry for 10 to 12 minutes per inch thickness. Fry on both sides.

Deep fried fish
Deep fried fish

 4. Deep frying: Heat oil to 190 degree celsius. Add some flour, salt and pepper in a  ziploc bag. Dip in egg and then bread crumbs. Fry on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Delicious fish fry is ready to serve.

Grilled fish
Grilled fish

 5. Grilling: Grilling time depends on the type of fish, type of fire and whether you use a covered or open grill. Marinate with chilli powder, salt and oregano and refrigerate for 6 hours. Grilling time takes about 10 to 12 minutes per inch thickness.

Poached fish
Poached fish

 6. Poaching: Poaching is the process of fish in boiling water. Rinse fish steaks under cold water and pat dry using paper towel. Add some poaching liquid to cover fish. Bring the poaching liquid to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Do not boil the poaching liquid. This will cause the fish to break apart.

Steamed fish
Steamed fish

 7. Steaming: Steaming is a good choice for healthy diet. Place half inch of water in a steaming pot and turn on the stove. Arrange the fish fillets in a single layer to cook evenly. Put the steaming lid on the pot. Allow the steaming pot to boil on high heat. Cooking time will vary depends on the thickness of the fish. Cooked fish will flake with a fork.

Braised fish
Braised fish

 8. Braising: Braising is similar to poaching. Another step involves a browning step before the addition of liquid to finish cooking the fish. Browning involves cooking fish on high heat, which gives a golden color and concentrated flavor. Some of the equipment to use braising may be crock pot, pressure cooker or Dutch oven.

Tips for Cooking Fish:

1. Enjoy your favorite fish baked or grilled, steamed, and pan fried. Try to avoid deep fried fish.

2. Choose low sodium and low-fat seasonings such as spices, herbs, lemon juice and other flavorings in cooking.

How much fish to buy:

  • Whole fish - 3/4 to 1 pound per serving
  • Dressed fish - 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving
  • Pan-dressed fish - 1/3 pound per serving
  • Fillets - 1/4 to 1/3 pound per serving
  • Steaks - 1/4 to 1/3 pound per serving

What is your favorite technique to cook fish?

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