Cooking Fish like a Professional Chef

There are plenty of different ways of cooking fish and it is fun to try different methods. Depending on whether you are using a whole fish, steaks of fillets, you might like to try braising, deep or shallow frying, steaming or even cooking the fish on a wood fish board. Stuffed fish tastes delicious and adds texture. Round fish are the best for stuffing because the body cavity is larger. Most stuffing is made from breadcrumbs, which expand when they cook, so do not use too much. If you are using sea bass, a parsley and walnut pesto makes a great stuffing. If you have fillets, you can sandwich them with stuffing or roll them, then oven-bake them.

Different Ways of Fish Cooking

Steaming is a good, easy way to cook fillets, whole fish, and steaks. You need to put the fish in the steamer over boiling water and have a tight-fitting lid on it. Poaching is another healthy way of cooking it, in which you add seasoning, cream or another thickener and herbs. This gives you a sauce to serve with the fish.

Roasting or oven baking is great for fillets or whole fish. You need to use an ovenproof dish and can add some butter or oil, herbs, seasoning and white wine. To get very moist and tender flesh, you can cook fish "en papillote", which means you place the fish in sealed foil or paper, so it cooks in its own steam. You can add white whine, lemon or limejuice and fresh herbs to the parcel before cooking. You can also braise fish in the oven, by placing it on top of sauted vegetables in an ovenproof dish, adding bouillon and white wine, covering the dish with a lid and cooking for approximately 20 minutes.

Grilling is a good way of cooking small whole fish or fillets. If you are using whole fish, slash the skin on both sides a few times and brush with melted butter or olive oil. Baste the fish during cooking and turn it halfway through. You might like to wrap the fish in foil with olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice before placing it on the grill.

You do not have to heat the fish in order to cook it. An example is Ceviche, where white fish (usually snapper) is mixed with limejuice, herbs, and chili. The acidic citrus juice cooks the fish. Scallops, flounder, and sole also suit this cooking method.

Wood Board for Cooking Fish

This is another great method for cooking fish. You can use just about any kind of wood to cook fish on, as long as it is untreated and pest-free. The wood must be completely waterlogged before cooking, to ensure the wood generates enough steam and smoke to cook the fish, so it needs to be soaked for at least an hour beforehand.

You can use maple, apple, cherry, alder, or oak, but cedar is the most popular. You can only use a wood fish board once and you can buy it online or at a specialty food store.

To stop the fish sticking to the board, brush the fish with oil first on one side. You will not need to flip the fish during cooking because it cooks indirectly. Season the fish and place it on the fish board, which you then put on the grill. Make sure you are using a low fire so as not to ignite the board and baste the fish during cooking with anything non-flammable.

Cooking fish on a wood fish board is an excellent way of cooking. The wood smolders, which creates the smoke to flavor your fish. What's more, there is no washing up to be done afterwards!

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