The Secrets of Cooking Fish

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

Poaching usually gives excellent results. To poach fish, you need to add herbs, seasoning and a thickener such as cream. You can use this as a sauce to serve with the fish. Steaming is easy and suits whole fish, steaks, or fillets. To steam fish, put it in a steamer over boiling water and make sure you use a tight-fitting lid.

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.

If you have a grill, you can use it to cook fillets or small, whole fish. If you want to use whole fish, slash the skin on each side a couple of times and brush the fish with olive oil or melted butter. Turn the fish halfway through the cooking time and baste it to keep it moist and add flavor. You can also wrap the fish in a foil packet and add herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil before grilling it.

Some fish can be cooked without being heated. Ceviche is an example of this, when you soak white fish, such as sole, flounder, scallops, or snapper, in limejuice, chili, and herbs. The acid in the citrus juice cooks the fish.

Another Fish Cooking Method - Wood Fish Board

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.

Cedar is a common wood for fish boards but you can also use alder, maple, cherry, apple, or oak. A wood fish board is for one use only and you can get one from a specialty food store or online.

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 gives plenty of flavors, since the smoldering wood gives a smoky taste. In addition, you will not need to clean the grill afterwards!

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