Even experienced cooks may find it intimidating to prepare food for many people. However, the best part about fish and seafood is that they are often served in the most basic of ways. They don’t require many things to work with. You can even transform them into various menu items using only simple tools like a pan and solar-powered dehydrator.
Fish is one of the most accessible, tasty, and simple ingredients to cook; it provides protein for at least 3.3 billion people. Fish is an excellent diet, and you’ll find yourself eating it more frequently than you anticipated once you know what you’re doing. Let us now demonstrate how simple it is to include fish cooking techniques in your daily practice.
This video will show you, how people in South Sudan use a solar dehydrator to dry fish and meat:
Choosing the Best Fish
The perfect fish dish, like anything else, begins with selecting the best fish. When you recognize what to search for, buying top-quality fish is easy. A quick check at your local fish market can show you if the fish is good or bad.
The first thing you should do before handling the fish is to examine the eyes. They should be bright, plump, glossy, and moist. If the eyes appear to be in good condition, you can be relatively sure that the fish is good to buy.
If the seller permits it, consider touching the fish to check for additional signs of health and quality. The fish’s texture should be cool, moist, and slippery but never sticky. When pushed, it should bounce back to its original shape.
If you choose to buy filleted fish, check for fractures that occur between the muscles and collagen sheaths in the filet. Such muscular fractures are commonly associated with mishandling.
Ensure that the flesh is moist and glistening. Sticky, flaky, or brittle fish is not worth your money and should be avoided. Fish with dark meat, however, should have vibrant, rich flesh.
Cooking Fish the Easy Way
Of course, the technique of cooking you adopt is a matter of personal choice. However, it’s also crucial to think about how your fish’s intrinsic taste, thickness, and fat content will interact with the procedure. Here are four basic fish cooking methods that anyone with little to no culinary expertise can master.
Sautéing or pan-frying fish is perhaps the most basic method of preparation. Searing your fish in a frying pan can turn it crispy in minutes with only a few ingredients. Quite often, store-bought fillet fish is good enough to cook with no further preparation required.
Allow the pan to heat up for at least 3 minutes on high. When the oil begins to smoke, season the fish fillets and carefully lay them with the skin side touching the pan. Leave the fish for about 3 minutes before flipping it once to ensure you get a nice crust.
Another popular technique of preparing fish is steaming. You may steam it using a basket or in a foil pouch. To ensure even heat distribution, score the fish and poke several holes in its body.
The most important aspect of cooking fish is air circulation. Placing chopsticks and spring onions beneath the fish aids in this purpose. Furthermore, chicken oil might provide a silky texture and a rich smell to the fish.
A fish at one catty takes around six minutes to steam. Certainly, it is a rough approximation that should be tweaked based on the circumstances.
When you want to prepare a gourmet fish dish without making it complex, poaching is ideal. It retains the moisture of the fish while giving a taste by simmering it in a flavored solution.
Poaching in broth is pleasant and low in calories. Poaching in oil, on the other hand, results in incredibly delicate fillets. For the latter, olive oil is a wonderful choice.
Make sure you have put enough liquid in your pot to cover the fish completely, and don’t allow the liquid to boil since this may toughen the fish. You want to bring your liquid up to a gentle simmer.
Almost any fish can be grilled, although some types and trims are more forgiving than others. Firm-fleshed fish, available in cuts or big fillets, will not fall apart on the grill. This helps them to withstand the grill’s tremendous heat.
A medium fire is ideal for grilling, especially if you’re using charcoal. Also, before you start cooking the fish, spend a few extra minutes scraping and brushing the grill properly.
Cooking fish is actually pretty simple and easy. Ultimately, presenting a grilled, poached, steamed, or fish soup that will delight your palate begins with picking the best fish for you. To check for doneness, cut into the fish with the tip of a knife and see if the flesh is opaque all the way through.