Sunday, July 8, 2007


Fish cooks very quickly; it should be cooked at a high temperature for a short period of time. No tenderizing is necessary...all fish is naturally tender!

BAKING: Bake fish uncovered in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. If baking a fillet that is thin at one end and thick at the other, tuck the thin end under itself so that the fish is about the same thickness overall when it bakes. Fish is done when it turns form translucent to opaque and just begins to flake.

PAN-FRYING, SAUTEING: On medium heat, add fish to oil or butter, and turn halfway through the cooking process. Or "pan-broil", using a non-stick skillet and no oil.

MICROWAVING: Place fish in a shallow dish, and cover with plastic wrap with one corner left open for venting. Microwave on High power for only 3 minutes per pound of fish. Remove and let stand; the fish will continue to cook for a minute or two.

BROILING: Broil fish 2 to 5 inches from heat source. The thinner the fish, the closer it should be to the heat for quick cooking. Broil for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once halfway through cooking time.

GRILLING: Start with a clean and oiled grill grid. Thicker, firmer pieces of fish work best (for example: halibut, tuna, swordfish and salmon steaks). Preheat gas grill for about 10 minutes and prepare charcoal fire about 30 minutes in advance. Grill fish 4 to 6 inches above coals at Medium to High heat. Cook until fish turns opaque, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

DEEP-FRYING: Use a wok or a large skillet. Heat oil first, then add small pieces of fish, tossing carefully until fish turns opaque. Remove to plate, stir-fry vegetables until crisp-tender, add fish back to pan to combine, and serve. Any sauce should be added to the vegetables before the fish is added back in.

POACHING: Start with the poaching liquid (wine, stock, water, or a combination) and any flavorings such as herbs or garlic. Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat to Low so that liquid is barely simmering. Carefully lower fish into liquid and cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. A large wide patula will help you remove fish from poaching liquid.

STEAMING: Use a steamer rack in a saucepan, or a bamboo steamer, and about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover and steam fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

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