Do you love seafood but find it a hassle to cook? This article will help teach the basics of cooking fresh fish and how some people make common mistakes! Keep reading for these seven easy tips on keeping your dinner up.
1. Cooking It to Death
The critical thing to remember when cooking fish is that it cooks incredibly fast. While a steak or chicken can take over an hour to cook thoroughly, fresh fish will take only a few minutes to become rubbery or dry. It is essential to cook your fish sparingly, or it will end up with a dehydrated and unpleasant texture.
2. Overcrowding the Pan
Crowding the pan is a common mistake people make when cooking, leading to overcooking. While cooking meat on a pan requires some room for airflow so the heat can cook through, too much room causes foods like fish and vegetables to steam instead of fry in oil or butter. This wilts vegetables and dries out fish. Try to use only half the pan for cooking fish, or at most, a third of the pan.
3. Not Using the Right Kind of Pan
The wrong kind of pan will ruin your dish completely. One mistake people make is using a frying pan for cooking fish instead of a sautéing pan. Oils can splatter and spread into other areas in the kitchen if you do not use a proper sautéing pan. This can be avoided by using an oil with a high smoke point and low heat, such as extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
4. Not Cooking the Fish Right
When cooking fish, it is essential to cook the fish through all sides. Cooking the fish from the bottom will help ensure that it doesn’t taste like old or raw fish, and even letting the heat penetrate from underneath will allow for a flaky texture to develop on the surface. Try to cook your fish sparingly, or you will have a dry and rubbery texture.
5. Not Monitoring the Temperature
The proper oven temperature for fish is 275°F, but monitoring that temperature and stopping cooking when the fish turns opaque white is essential. If you have a convection oven, set it to preheat at 175°F and lower the temperature to 275°F once it reaches that temperature.
6. Not Storing Fresh Fish Correctly
This mistake leads to many meals ending with a complete loss of freshness and discoloration of the fish due to air exposure. Only store your fresh fish on the bottom shelf and away from light or humidity in an airtight container with a small crack in or around the open end for oxygen exchange.
7. Not Thawing It Right
Thawing fish correctly can take a long time, but it is worth the wait. When thawing, never leave a fish or other fresh food in the refrigerator, and only microwave it for 3–4 minutes at a time for best results. A common mistake people make is leaving the fish in the kitchen sink with warm water coming out of it and allowing cold water to drip through the fish. This will cause bacteria to grow, killing your food and creating an unpleasant odor.