Fish is a fantastic source of protein that your body needs in order to function at its best. However, cooking the fish can be quite a challenge because of its delicate nature. If you are looking for a way to cook fish easily at home, you have come to the right place. Here are some tips on how you can do it.
Buy Clean Fish
When you buy fish, make sure that it is clean. Look at the eyes to determine if it is clean or not. If the eyes are not clear, then the fish is not fresh and could be harboring parasites or other diseases. You would not want to eat a toxic fish that could damage your health.
If the eyes are clear, then the fish is probably clean. However, you should still cook it thoroughly to make sure there are no parasites or other diseases. You can use the flesh of the fish as a way to test its freshness, but you should cook it all before doing so.
Pro-Tip: Buy Fish That Is Thicker
When you are shopping for fish, go for the thicker varieties. They tend to cook faster than the thin ones. Of course, this also depends on the species of fish and the size you purchase. For instance, salmon will cook faster than cod. Small fish like sardines or anchovies will cook faster than large fish like sharks or swordfish.
Choose A Pan
When you cook fish, you need to use a pan or pot to do so. Choose a pan that is large enough to hold the amount of fish you plan on cooking. You should also look for a non-stick pan so that the fish does not come apart during the cooking process. This will make it much easier to eat.
You should also invest in a pair of ovenware gloves to avoid any burns from hot pots and pans. Ovenware gloves are an indispensable part of any cook’s toolkit because they protect your fingertips from the hot surface of the oven while also allowing you to easily grab pot handles or fish fillets without the fear of blistering or peeling off your skin.
Saltwater Is Best
When you cook fish in saltwater, it is important to use appropriate amounts of salt and pepper. Too much salt will make the fish slimy, while too much pepper will make the fish spicier than desired. Using proper amounts of salt and pepper will result in a pleasant, flaky texture. If you use too much salt, the flavor will be greatly diminished. The opposite is true if you use too much pepper.
You should also make sure that the water you use to cook the fish is not too hot or cold. The water should be tepid, neither too hot nor cold. Using either extreme in either direction can result in protein denaturation and thus, a poor final product. If the water is too hot, then the fish will become more toothsome and thus, more enjoyable to eat. However, if the water is too cold, then the meat will become more chewy and thus, less enjoyable to eat.
Rest And Cut Up
After you have cooked the fish, you should let it rest for about ten minutes before serving. This will allow the proteins to re-adjust their structures and become more stable. Resting the fish also allows you to cut it up more easily into portions before serving. During the resting time, the juices redistribute and become more accessible, enhancing the taste of the meat.
You should also use a plate to catch the juices that emanate from the cutting board during the process of cutting the fish. This is also a good way to ensure that the juices do not end up on the dining table or floor. When serving, place the fish on a plate and use two forks to serve it with the accompanying juices.
Be Careful With Garlic
Garlic is quite the controversial component in fish cookery because of its pungent nature. Some people enjoy the flavor imparted by the garlic, while others may find it a little too strong. If you are one of the former, then by all means, stir the garlic into the sauce of your fish. If you are one of the latter, then you should avoid adding too much of it to your food. The key is to use it sparingly and in small amounts.
Many people use garlic in their fish dishes because it acts as an enhancer of the flavor. If you are a fan of the pungent bulb, then by all means, add it in small amounts to your food. Alternatively, you can use it to make your fish dishes more exciting by increasing the amount of fresh herbs and spices used. Just make sure you are not allergic to it in any way.
Use Fresh Herbs
One of the best ways to make your fish more enjoyable is to use fresh herbs and spices instead of dried ones in the recipe. Dried herbs and spices lose their flavor quickly and often times, their potency as well. If you are using fresh herbs and spices, then make sure that they are well-chosen and of excellent quality. This, in turn, will result in a more flavorful and enjoyable fish recipe. You should also experiment with different herbs and spices to see which ones you prefer and which ones bring additional flavors to your food. For example, rosemary will result in a more mellow flavor while chipotle peppers will add a deeper warmth to your fish.
Fish can also be flavored with various marinades before cooking to impart more flavor to it. Different types of vinegars, mustards, and other liquids are often used to marinade fish before putting it in the oven. Some marinades are acidic in nature while others are more mellow in nature. The acidity of the marinade will determine the cooking time of the fish. If you want a longer cooking time, then use an acidic marinade. If you want a quicker result, then use a mellow one.
The Timing Is Everything
Every fish contains a certain amount of water, which will be used to make your dish. The amount of water in each species varies, but on average, fish tend to contain around 10-12% of their weight in water. So if you weigh 100 grams of fish, then you should expect to get a bite-sized piece that is around 10-12 grams. If you add up all of the abovementioned tips, you will be able to successfully cook fish at home easily. And what a nice meal it will be!