How to Cook Fish

Fish is a high protein and relatively low fat meat that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Because it is recommended that we eat fish at least once a week it’s important that we take the time to learn to cook it. Here are some simple instructions that will get you started. Tip: Remember to thaw your frozen fish in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Baking Fish

This is the easiest method and best for beginners.

  • Heat oven to 450°
  • Grease a shallow baking dish.
  • Place fish in the baking dish in a single layer.
  • Cook the fish for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
  • Season and serve.

How do I tell if it’s done? Fish starts out a little transparent. When it’s done, it is opaque. If it flakes with a fork, it’s a little overdone and dry.

Pan Frying Fish

  • Heat ¼ inch oil in frying pan at medium heat.
  • Optional: Apply batter to fish.
  • Cook fillets for 4-5 minutes per side or until done.

Grilling Fish

This method is ideal for swordfish and is meant for thicker cuts of fish. You can use a charcoal grill or a gas grill. If you decide to cook smaller fish, put them in a grill basket.  Smaller fish don’t do as well on the grill as larger fattier fish like swordfish, but they can still come out well if you’re careful.

  • Heat your grill to roughly 375-425°F surface temperature.
  • Oil grate thoroughly.
  • Cook fish directly over heat for about 5 minutes each side or until done.

Swordfish Grilling

Poaching Fish

The liquid you use for poaching is up to you. After cooking it can be used as a base for a sauce.

  • Bring cooking liquid to near boil.
  • Place fish in the cooking liquid.
  • Cook for 10 minutes for fillets and 20 minutes for a whole fish.

Pan Broiling Fish

While it may seem as simple as baking, you must be careful not to overcook fish when you pan broil. The broiler is not forgiving. This method is better for cuts of fish at least an inch thick.

  • Oil broiler pan
  • Baste fish
  • Broil 1 inch thickness fish on oiled pan for about 8 minutes basting frequently until done. Do not turn.
  • If the fish is 2 inches thick or more, turn after 6 minutes and cook until done. Baste frequently.

Deep Frying Fish

This method is for smaller pieces of fish less than ¾ of an inch thick. For a beginner, we recommend using a deep fryer and not a pot on the stove. A deep fryer heats the oil to the right temperature and has a line on it so you know how much oil to use. If you must use a nonstick pan on the stove, heat the oil to 350-375°F and use enough oil so the fish can float.

  • While oil is heating: sprinkle flour on fish, dip fish in egg, dip fish in bread crumps and seasoning.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes or until brown making sure the pieces stay separated.

Can I microwave fish? Yes, you can. It’s like poaching. You place the fish in a small amount of liquid, cover it, make sure to vent the cover, and microwave for about 3 minutes per lb.

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