The ultimate guide: how to cook fish perfectly, every time

This straightforward guide is the answer to your prayers

18w ago

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Let’s face it: with so many cooking techniques to choose from – and with so much potential for things to go pear-shaped – it can be difficult knowing where to start when cooking fish. Sadly, it’s one form of culinary experimentation a lot of us (especially first-timers) tend to shy away from.

That is, until now – because if you’ve ever wanted to hone your fish cooking skills, this straightforward guide is the answer to your prayers. Read on to learn the not-so-secret formula to achieving moist, perfectly cooked fish... every time.

Poaching

Perfect for: Alaska Salmon, Alaska Halibut

Quick, easy and fuss-free, poaching is a great way to dip a toe into the fish-cooking water (so to speak). It works best on fish with firm flesh like salmon and halibut, as these fish tend to hold together better when cooking.

And don’t think you have to stick to plain old water when poaching your fish – you can use a number of different liquids like stock, miso broth… the list goes on.

How to do it: bring your cooking liquid up to a gentle simmer, then lower in your chosen fish and remove from the heat. The fish will continue to poach in the broth; you’ll know it’s done when the flesh turns opaque.

Grilling

Perfect for: Alaska Salmon

Grilling is a good choice if you want tender fish and crispy skin in a flash – but you’ll need to use thicker pieces, like robust fillets or steak. Salmon is perfect; take your pick from king, sockeye, coho, keta or pink.

For maximum flavour, marinate your fish overnight, or simply season it with your favourite herbs and spices and get cracking.

How to do it: brush your fish with olive oil and lemon juice, then rub the skin with salt. Place the fish on an oiled baking sheet and grill for 4-5 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Rest the fish for 2 minutes, then push the tip of a sharp knife into the flesh. Does it go through easily? Then voilà – your fish is done.

Pan-frying

Perfect for: Alaska Cod, Alaska Pollock

Another quick and easy method; crack it once and future fish fry-ups will be a breeze. Cod and pollock fillets are a frying pan’s best friend (think tender pieces and a deliciously crispy crust).

Remember to use a non-stick frying pan with a heavy base for the best possible results. And if you don’t have one? Dust your fillet with seasoned flour before cooking to prevent any sticky situations from arising.

How to do it: place your pan over a medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Make sure the pan is hot (it’s key to getting perfectly crispy skin), then fry your fish for 5-6 minutes on each side. Leave it to drain on some absorbent kitchen paper before serving.

Baking

Perfect for: Alaska Halibut, Alaska Yellowfin Sole

The secret to delicious baked fish? It’s all in the timing. Keep a careful eye on proceedings, and succulent, juicy fish will be yours. Choose halibut or sole – and feel free to customise it with sauces, veggies or simple lemon slices.

For the ultimate combo of crisp skin and moist flesh, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 180℃ before you even think about putting your fish anywhere near it.

How to do it: lightly coat a roasting dish with olive oil. Place your fillet in the dish skin-side down (heads up – there’s no need to flip when you’re baking) and brush with sauce (or season with herbs). Bake for 7-10 minutes per inch of thickness, until the flesh separates easily with a fork at its thickest part.

In the mood for fish tonight? Find out more about Alaska Seafood here, or try one of these seriously tempting recipes…

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Comments (2)

  • This is so helpful. I love cooking fish, but it's always a bit of a panic about getting it right because I don't do it all that often!

      4 months ago
  • I don’t cook fish very often so this great to know! Thanks!

      4 months ago
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