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Marco’s Cooking Secrets for Seafood

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 fishmonger 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 Dover sole. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Barbecuing 

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 

Steaming

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

Baking

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 

Grilling

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

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

Pan-frying 

A good way of keeping more delicate white fish, that don’t have much natural fat of their own, nice and moist. Salmon cooks well without oil in a non-stick pan as it has its own oils. 

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

Deep-frying

Take a cue from the Great British chippy 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

Poaching

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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