You might be dying to try out a tasty haddock recipe or some mouthwatering tilapia fish recipes and one of the best ways of cooking fish is baking it. Baking fish is not complicated but there are a few handy tricks and tips to know, to ensure you get the very best results.
You can bake fish steaks, fillets, seafood, or whole fish. Baking cooks fish quickly at a high temperature.
Baking is a very popular way of cooking fish and many fish recipes call for it to be baked in the oven. People tend to worry about their fish drying out and how to prevent that from happening. If you leave your fish in the oven for even a few minutes too long, this might mean the difference between a moist piece of fish and a slightly dried out one. When fish dries out, this means the natural fish oil has gone. You need to check the fish often when it is cooking and remember that it keeps cooking for a couple of minutes after you remove it from the oven.
Choosing and Preparing Your Fish
When you buy a fish, check the eyes are clear, bright, and slightly protruded and the gills are pink or red. If the eyes are sunken, cloudy, or pink and the gills are gray, the fish is stale.
Whether you are shopping for fish to make cheesy baked cod fish recipes or herby tilapia fish recipes, you should follow the same rule: if you use very fresh fish, your recipe has more chance of being a great success.
You need to ensure the fish is properly defrosted to get the very best results from your fish recipe. Frozen fish has the same nutritional value as fresh fish and will keep in the freezer for weeks or even months, depending what kind of fish it is. To defrost fish, leave it on the lower shelves of the refrigerator for between 8 and 12 hours.
If you want to defrost it more quickly, you can place the fish in a bowl of cold water with 3 to 4 tablespoons of salt. Then it will defrost in a couple hours. If you have fresh or defrosted fish in the refrigerator, it ought to be used within 24 hours for the best fish recipe results.
Depending on what kind of baked fish recipe you are making, you might want to marinate the fish fillets in salt and lemon before cooking for firmer flesh, a fresh taste and to make it easier to handle. You can also soak your fish in water with vinegar before baking, to make it sweeter, more tender and hold its shape better.
How to Get the Best Results from Baked Fish Recipes
Fish contains natural fish oils so you do not need to add fat or oil before baking if you do not want to. There are plenty of baked tilapia recipes, for example, which call for thinly sliced vegetables or seasoned breadcrumbs on top of the fish, to keep it juicy throughout cooking. Another tip is to brush a small amount of butter or oil on top of the fish before baking it.
The general rule with fish baking is to bake the fish for 10 minutes for every inch of its thickness. 450F is a suitable temperature for most baked fish recipes. Unless the fish is an inch or less thick, you should turn it half way through the cooking time.
Cooking times also vary depending on the density of the fish. While cooking fish, tuck any thin ends underneath so it cooks evenly. The fish is done when it is opaque all the way through, when it is 145F in the center, or when you can easily flake the flesh at its thickest point with a fork.
To stop fish sticking to the baking dish, you can place it on a bed of onions, celery, or both. This makes the fish stay in one piece when removing it from the baking dish and gives it some extra flavor.
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