How-To: The Perfect Way
Foolproof Cooking with Fish
Looking to shake up your dinner routine? Switch out your beef and chicken dishes with fish. Not just delicious, it’s also versatile. Fish pairs well with tons of flavors and cuisines. Once you learn the four simple strategies to cook fish below, you’ll be able to adapt it to any of your own favorite flavors, too. Baked, steamed, poached or broiled, there’s enough ways to cook fish that you’ll be able to enjoy it on an easy weeknight or at your next dinner party.
Perfectly cooked fish - 4 ways.
- Preheat oven to 375-450°F.
- Coat a baking sheet or shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Dredge in a breadcrumb coating or sprinkle with seasonings and drizzle with lemon juice, butter or a splash of white wine before cooking.
- Always place fish in a single layer in prepared pan.
- Resist the temptation to overcook fish until it flakes, which indicates the fish is becoming dry. Best to use an instant-read food thermometer to make sure the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Thicker cuts, at least 1-inch thick, are best so fish doesn’t become too dry during broiling. If less than 1-inch, do not turn during cooking.
- Broil thicker fish 5-6 inches from heat source and thinner fillets 2 inches from heat source.
- Marinate your seafood before broiling. In addition to adding flavor, it will help keep your seafood moist.
- Move the rack to the highest possible position in the oven.
- Let the broiler preheat for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
- Keep an eye on it—broiling is very fast. Most food will be done in 5-10 minutes.
- To prevent fish from drying out, you can baste the fish with a marinade or a little olive oil halfway through cooking.
- Use a pan with a tight-fitting lid to prevent heat from escaping.
- Boost flavor by adding white wine, herbs or lemon slices to liquid.
- Don’t let liquid boil. Keep it just below boiling point.
- For a tight seal and to prevent steam from escaping, it is best to use parchment paper or foil.
- Fold each piece of paper in half to form a crease down the middle like a book; set aside.
- Lay fish fillet in the center of the sheet, along with any vegetables and seasonings you like.
- Seal sheet to create a tight seal, making sure the fish will cook in its own juices and not dry out or lose flavor.
- It's tough to test doneness with fish cooked this way, since you don't want to pull apart the packet until the fish is done. Instead, bake until parchment packet puffs, 8-10 minutes, or slightly longer for fish fillets thicker than 1/2 inch. After removing from oven, let sit 3 minutes before carefully opening packet and verifying internal cooking temperature with an instant-read food thermometer has reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit.