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Roasted cod with cherry tomatoes

Cooking Methods for Fish

Steaming, baking or using the BBQ – here's how.

Even confident cooks get nervous about cooking fish. They shouldn’t; it’s really very simple. Rather than following recipes to the letter, view them as a starting point. See what’s fresh and in season at your local grovcery store first. Once you’ve selected the freshest, firmest specimens, only then do you need to decide what to do with them as what works for oily fish like mackerel won’t work for delicate sole. Here are some ideas to get you started.


Not just for sausages. Great fun in the summer months, the charcoal lends the fish a hint of smokiness. Works best with firm-fleshed fish and juicy fish steaks.

Try: tuna, salmon, swordfish, whole sea bream, mackerel


This healthy method stops fish drying out as the heat is moist and indirect. It’s very good for whole fish, but check your pan’s large enough first!

Try: whole sea bass, sole, plaice, haddock


The heat of a hot oven can dry out more delicate fish. Firm-fleshed white fish work better. A practical method when cooking for larger numbers.

Try: cod, herring, halibut, salmon


Perfect for flat fish. The fierce direct heat is so quick, thinner fillets won’t need turning.

Try: sole, lemon sole, mackerel, sardines, tuna


A good way of keeping more delicate white fish, that don’t have much natural fat of their own, nice and moist. It’s always best to grease the pan with a little bit of oil or fat, even with a nonstick surface.

Try: sole, whiting, herring, tuna, red mullet, cod


Take a cue from the Fish & Chip shop and deep-fry white fish. Batter and breadcrumbs protect the fish from the heat, so it gently steams inside. Not for oily fish.

Try: cod, haddock, skate, hake, plaice


This refers to cooking fish in liquid at a very low heat. Particularly suitable for whole fish and white-fleshed fish, it results in delicate moist fish.

Try: salmon, haddock, plaice, trout, sole

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