Seafood is almost in its own world of food. The flavours, textures, and tastes are unlike anything you can find above-ground, and the results of a great dish can truly be out-of-this-world delicious.
Some people can be apprehensive about cooking seafood or fish- especially if they’re new to it. Read our simple tips on what you need to know about preparing these meals and you’ll be dining on delicacies from the sea in no time.
Once you’ve bought (or caught) your seafood, take it home as soon as possible and rest it on ice until you’re ready to cook it. Sit the food on top of a layer of plastic wrap over ice to avoid it getting wet when the ice melts.
Cooking oily fish
Oily fish, such as salmon, herring, and fresh tuna, are best for barbequing and grilling. They also work well with strong flavour profiles such as garlic, chili or lemon.
The main thing to keep in mind with shellfish such as crab, squid, mussels, and shrimp is that they cook very quickly. No matter which way you cook them, leaving them on too long will result in a rubbery texture. Most of the time, it will only take a few minutes to get them just right, so set a timer and stick to the recipe carefully.
Is your fish ready?
There are two ways to tell if your fish has finished cooking. Firstly, use the tip of a fork or knife to pierce the top of the fillet. If the fish naturally starts flaking apart without much pressure, it’s likely cooked. The other test is to slide a knife into the top of the fillet so you can take a look at the meat inside. If it’s still translucent, it needs more time to cook, but if it’s opaque, you’re good to go.
Poaching is a great way to cook fish, as it keeps it marvelously tasty and moist. Keep the pot at just below boiling point and remember that it won’t take long. Once you’re done, use the liquid (whether it’s stock, water or something else) as a pre-flavoured base for your sauce. As an extra tip, if you don’t want the fillet to curl, add it to the water while the pot is still cool, then warm it all up together.
Start the pan hot
Searing fish locks in that beautiful flavour and gives it a golden finish that’s hard to resist. Start with the pan piping hot, and ensure your fish or shellfish are dry before starting with this method, even if it means patting it down with a paper towel. This ensures it gets that tasty crust.
Let it rest
Just like with other meats such as steak, it’s best to give fish a few minutes to rest before serving. During this time, the juices can settle and any remaining heat can cook through.