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Cooking Fish – 6 Tips You Need to Know

July 12, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Scottsdale 0 Comments

Cooking Fish – 6 Tips You Need to Know

Whether you prefer fish and chips or a braised salmon filet, there is no healthier dinner option than fish. A popular choice at Arizona cooking schools, preparing fish can be a fun and challenging way to practice your culinary techniques at home. Follow these simple tips and you are guaranteed to have a delicious meal that is as fun to make as it is delicious to eat.

Tip 1: Always Make Sure that Your Fish is Fresh
It is imperative to always start with the freshest fish available; this is the surest way to prevent food borne illness as well as to prepare a dish with a pleasing taste and texture. The first thing you want to do is follow your nose, fish should smell fresh and like the water they came from, stay away from anything with a strong fishy odor. Look for skin that is blemish free, it shouldn’t be slimy or soggy but rather have a flesh that is firm and springy to the touch. When buying whole fish look for eyes that are clear and glossy, gills should be bright red and the entire body should be blemish free. Also be sure to check the tail to make sure it is not dried out or curled up. If fresh fish is unavailable look for individual portions that say “frozen at sea” and “once frozen” these will have maintained the highest quality, just make sure that the packages are not damaged or showing visible sign of freezer burn.

Tip 2: Buy the Right Amount of Fish
There is nothing worse than getting home from the store only to discover that you don’t have enough fish to complete a recipe. This is where a little planning ahead can save some big hassles later on. When buying filets or steaks look for 6oz portions, this will be reduced to about 41/2 oz during cooking. This is the standard size portion in most recipes so it will make measuring your ingredients easier at home, 12 or 18oz portions will work as well. The following is a simple guideline for figuring out how much fish to buy depending on your number of dinner guests.
Whole Fish- ¾-1lb per person
Dressed and Cleaned- 1/2-3/4lb per person
Filets- 1/3-1/2lb per person

Tip 3:Pick the Perfect Cooking Method
There are many ways to prepare fish at home. You will find that some methods are better suited to your tastes and your choice in fish. Breaking out the BBQ is a great way to prepare a whole fish, or for something fresh and simple you might find that steaming is your best option. Broiling or poaching fish is a great way to retain your filets natural juices while simmering in the flavors of a marinade or broth. For a healthier variation of everyone’s favorite fish n’ chips you can try pan frying your filets in olive oil. If you have a thicker filet try marinating and oven roasting it, this makes the perfect dinner when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

Tip 4: Know How to Tell When Your Fish is Done
When fish is overcooked it becomes dry and tasteless so it is very important that you learn how to tell when it is done. Look for a flesh that is opaque in color but still moist, often times this moisture is mistaken for fish that is raw but really it is a desirable trait and don’t forget that your fish will continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes after you remove it from heat.

Tip 5: Keep Lemons Handy
Rubbing lemons on your fish before cooking will not only add a great flavor but will help preserve color as well and keep any leftover lemons handy to remove the odor of fish from your hands, cutting boards and counter tops.

The next time you need to figure out what’s for dinner why not visit your grocer’s seafood department. If you would like to learn more about culinary techniques and all the ways that fish can be prepared perhaps enrolling in an Arizona cooking school would be a good way for you to express your love of cooking.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Scottsdale, Arizona. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Scottsdale for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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