Fish is one of the most beneficial foods to eat. It’s high in protein, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains lesser amounts of saturated fat.
Due to its health benefits, people have been consuming more fish than ever. However, you must know the right way to prepare it to get the best results and preserve its nutritional value.
Are you confused about how to prepare fish? We’ll give you the dos and don’ts of cooking fish in this simple guide. Keep reading to learn more.
Cooking fish can be daunting for some, but there are a few simple steps that can help ensure it’s cooked safely and correctly.
Choose Fresh Fish
Always select fresh fish for cooking. Look for clear eyes, bright red or pink gills, and shiny, firm flesh. Avoid fish with a strong fishy odor.
Don’t buy thawed or previously frozen fish to ensure food safety. You should also make sure to check the sell-by date and overall freshness of the fish prior to buying.
Use herbs, spices, and seasonings to enhance the flavor of the fish. Popular choices include lemon, dill, parsley, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Season both sides of the fish for even flavor distribution.
Additionally, you should always try to season the fish just before cooking for the best result. Too much seasoning, especially salt, before cooking can cause the fish to dry out.
Use the Right Cooking Method
Different types of fish require different cooking methods. Grilling, baking, pan-frying, and steaming are common techniques.
Delicate fish like soles or tilapia are better suited for quick cooking methods like sautéing or steaming. Thicker and oilier fish like Alaskan black cod are ideal for grilling, broiling, or baking.
When cooking fish, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your fish dishes are cooked to perfection.
Overcook the Fish
Overcooking fish can result in a dry and rubbery texture. Keep a close eye on the cooking time and remove the fish from the heat as soon as it reaches the desired doneness.
Alternatively, try to avoid undercooking altogether. The fish should be firm and flaky, not rubbery. Regular checks are the best way to avoid this mistake.
Use Excessive Oil
While some fish may benefit from a little oil to prevent sticking, avoid using excessive oil, as it can make the fish greasy. To avoid this, only light oil should be used, ensuring it is distributed evenly over the fish.
When using a shallow pan, a teaspoon or two of oil should be enough. When oven-roasting or baking fish, brushing the fish with oil before and during cooking suffices.
Overcrowd the Pan
Avoid overcrowding the pan when cooking fish, as it can lead to uneven cooking and prevent proper browning. Cook the fish in batches if needed, or use a larger pan. When cooking larger fish, consider using a roasting pan in order to give the fish the most space possible.
A Few Tips for Preparing and Cooking Fish
When it comes to preparing and cooking fish, following a few helpful tips can make the process less daunting. Always make sure to check its freshness and trim away any dark or slimy parts of the filets before cooking them. Afterward, it’s important to season the fish with oil and spices to make it more flavorful.
With these helpful tips, you should be able to make a delicious fish meal in no time!
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