Dec 7, 2017219 views

Easy and effective ways to prepare fish dishes?

Hi cooking community - question for any and all of you. This time of the year meals tend to be heavier and I try to find different ways to have lighter meals when I can......I find fish dishes to be lighter, but unfortunately, I am far from an expert on actually preparing fish. Never seems to come out right....would love any tips on how to best prepare, recipes, tips for types of fish that are easier to prepare, etc......
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kstokley, Rosemary Lopez, and 7 others
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The fresher the fish is, the less seasoning I'll use to retain its original, fresh flavor. For the freshest of the tender varieties (such as cod or high quality grouper) I would usually go with steaming. I love to panfry salmon, make sure to salt the skin and fry it skin side down first to break down the oils and make it crispy. Also, keep the heat low so the fish will cook nice and evenly while retaining its juice and texture. I find fishes with a creamy texture and slightly buttery flavor (some flatfish, cod and eels) delicious baked or grilled. For fish that are tougher and have a stronger, "fishy" flavor, they're excellent for breading and frying and going with a dip :p
Make up some shiojake—Japanese salted salmon—and just grill it or pan fry it. I can't think of an easier or better way to cook fish.
Sous vide, especially for salmon, scallops, shrimp. I love putting shrimp in a bag with garlic butter. Sous vide is a great way from keeping it from overcooking.

Cod is very forgiving. I usually add it to linguini with clam sauce for extra protein. It braises/steams in the clam sauce and you look at it to see when it's done (it becomes solid white and flakes easily).

En Papillote can be impressive looking and is straightforward. You want a firmer fish, like salmon, trout, halibut, tilapia, basa. You're basically steaming it in a parchment pocket with aromatics. Steaming is more gentle cooking so it helps it from getting overcooked.
Just be sure to not overcock fish. When coocking salmon for example leave it a bit like a medium plus steak. Also green veggies go vell with fish as they tend not ti have a strong taste that would overpover the taste of the fish.
Stafy
Great feedback and tip on the medium plus idea for salmon. And yes, I know when I eat out I tend to like veggies like spinach, broccolini with my fish dishes.
Don't count out fish stews. Moqueca is a Brazilian fish stew I'm particularly fond of. It's been mentioned, but bears repeating: high heat ruins fish. Moqueca starts by sauteing the veggies and setting up the spices. The fish, which marinades in lemon or lime juice and garlic, is added about halfway through. From that point on it's critical that the stew never reach a hard boil. That'll make the fish as tough as a paving stone. Low heat, slow simmer, and careful attention to temperature are critical, but the results are worth it.
tom.benedict
Sounds great. Will look up. Sounds like a cioppino.
I'm no cook but I live with my mom like a loser and she puts bread crumbs on top of salmon and bakes it in the oven. Usually paired with rice and a vegetable but last night we did alfredo noodles instead of rice. I think she must use parmesan or something too.
Can you deal with fish bones? Some people are freaked out by them and think they'll choke and die if they swallow one. You have to eat smaller pieces and more slowly than other foods, and you need some rice or the like to eat if you swallow a bone to help it go down, but bones are really no problem.

The easiest way to eat fish is to just grill a whole fish. In the Japan the sanma or Pacific saury (or makerel pike} is eaten like that. It flushes its digestive system very quickly on the fishing boat, so it doesn'need to be cleaned. Broil it for 5 to 10 minutes each side and just eat it. In theory you can eat the whole thing, guts and bones and head, and older Japanese people do, but most people only eat the meat.

Other fish you can have cleaned by the market and then broil the same way.

Salmon and other steaks and fillets can be coated with flour with salt and pepper in a zip lock bag and be pan fried in oil. You can use a Thermapen to judge temperature or just make sure that the flame isn't too high and that each side is browned but not burnt.

Steamed fish is one of the easiest Chinese cuisine one can cook. Basically you cover the fish with some sliced green onions, gingers, and garlic, and you steam it for 15 minutes. 15 minutes later the fish is actually done, but we normally heat a small portion of vegetable oil to almost smoke and pour it over the steamed fish. After that you put in whatever sauce you like (normally I use soy sauce) and your fish is ready. The most crucial part is how fresh the fish is.
xiaoqiz
Admitting my ignorance here, why is the freshness so crucial? Of course, don't want old fish....but tell me some more, if you don't mind.
josh.russell
actually I said that to highlight how easy and foolproof this dish is...So the function of ginger and green onion is to get rid of the fishy (in the negative sense) smell and taste, it works similarly as lemon when you cook salmon or chicken. Experience says the fresher the fish (in two senses, one refers to the age of the fish, the other refers to the time between the death of the fish and the time you cook it) the easier to put away that fishy taste, so that's why.
Poke is super easy to make at home! Get some nice tuna from a trusted source, and add the following to taste:
Salt
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Sriracha
Grated ginger
Garlic
Pepper
Ponzu
Crushed red pepper for heat

Top with diced onions, spring onions, and whatever else you want. The longer you marinate the tuna, the better. I personally like my poke on brown rice but preference dictates there.
I think the key to most seafood dishes is not to overcook, which can be very difficult. Observation and experience help. Many people see 'well done' as the norm, but with fresh seafood, the motto should be 'well prepared'. (imo)
Honestly, the best way is to use a sous vide. It is by far the most buttery, moist salmon I've ever had. 115F is the sweet spot specifically for Norwegian-farmed Salmon from Whole Foods (which incidentally is extremely environmentally friendly). Crisping the salmon skin is an extremely important part of the process so don't skip it.

A good guide: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/08/sous-vide-salmon-recipe.html

I have less experience with wild-caught salmon, and I wouldn't recommend it as 115F is not a temperature that kills parasites. It also has lower fat content so it's naturally a bit drier as well.
Cut them and eat them - sushi
JayOG
Honestly the best. Although if there is no rice or other wrapping that would make it sashimi.
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