6 Tips for Cooking the Best Fish Ever
Every cook can tell you a story about a meal that turned into a disaster. The main reason so many Americans don’t eat enough fish is because they are worried that cooking it will be a culinary catastrophe. Many people are guilty of at least one of the seven deadly sins of seafood cooking. You can avoid all of them and make the best fish ever by following these 6 tips.
1. Trust your nose.
One of the most common mistakes new seafood cooks make is buying or cooking fresh fish that is too old. The most obvious sign that fish is too old to cook is its smell. Fresh fish should smell like salt water or mineral water. Look for fish that has firm flesh, vibrant skin.
2. Pat seafood dry before cooking.
You can prevent your fish fillets from having an unpleasant mushy texture by using a paper towel to pat each one dry before cooking. Removing this moisture from the outside of the fish won’t make the meat dry out. Instead, it will ensure that it has the right flaky texture when it cooks. It will also help the fillets to brown nicely.
3. Season the pan, not the fish.
Preheat the pan and oil before placing any seafood into the pan. A common reason that fish gets overcooked is that it is placed into a cool pan. When you cook seafood in a cool pan that is heating up, the outside often gets overcooked while the inside stays raw. Waiting to cook the fish until the pan and oil are hot is the best way to prevent this. It will help the fish to cook evenly.
4. Place the fish skin side down.
When you first place fish fillets in a skillet, on a baking sheet or on the grill, the skin side should be down. This will help the skin to get nice and crispy. Searing the skin from the start will also protect it from overcooking. The skin will stick at first but will release as it cooks. A good sign that it is ready to flip is that you can easily slide a spatula under it.
5. Use gentle heat even on a grill.
Seafood cooks faster than other meats and can easily dry out if you use too high of a heat. Whether you are pan searing it or grilling it, use a lower heat than you would with other meat. If you are planning to grill it, consider wrapping it in foil to keep in the moisture and ensure it doesn’t absorb too much of the charcoal taste.
6. Only flip it once
It is important not to overhandle fish. Turning fish frequently will make it fall apart. That’s not what you want. You should only turn a fish fillet once. Another sign that it is ready to flip is a light brown color around the edges.
If you follow these 6 steps, you can make the best seafood at home! Stop by City Fish Market to pick up the freshest fish for dinner tonight.