If cooking fish sounds like something best left to the professionals, you have not been looking at the right fish recipes. It is true that some fish recipes are difficult and fiddly and some types of fish are comparatively expensive but don’t forget some of the budget options can be just as tasty if you know how to make easy fish recipes with them.
All home cooks have to start somewhere and not many of us have been to catering college. If you are a typical home cook you might use ingredients such as chicken and beef on a regular basis but not really think about cooking with fish all that often. Fish is a protein-packed food which is usually low in fat and calories. Fish and seafood are widely available and there are fish to suit every palate and budget.
A Few Types of Fish to Consider
There are freshwater and saltwater varieties of salmon available to Americans from the lakes and waters of Upstate New York to the streams of the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. Alaskans can dine on black cod, Pacific Salmon, and other whitefish varieties like haddock and whiting.
In the south, there is catfish and porgies, usually eaten battered and deep-fried. However, Mississippi is not the only place catfish is found. Although not as big in size, there is a breed of catfish known in the North as “bullheads” or “croakers.” Another Southern variation is to have Cajun seasonings and cooking methods, coming out of the Louisiana swamps and bayous, where the fish is highly spiced and added to gumbos (a type of stew thickened with okra).
In New England, generations have enjoyed fish like cod, halibut, and haddock, which often form the basis of regional dishes like thick and hearty chowders. What person of Irish ancestry is not familiar with dishes made from salted, dried cod?
In addition, if of English ancestry, chances are you are familiar with the type of pie, which contains eels, a dish popular from the Middle Ages and brought by ancestors to these shores during the colonial period. Western New York and Western Pennsylvania remain the US capital of the Friday fish fry featuring battered, deep fried varieties like haddock, whiting, and salmon fingers with fries and coleslaw.
Asian immigrants first settling on both coasts and in Hawaii have taught us of wonderful dishes using fish spiced with a whole palate of exotic flavors, ingredients and preparation methods like sweet and sour fish soup and sushi.
Classic Fish Recipes and Modern Ones
With such a wide selection available today it is no wonder that cooks are rediscovering old tried and true cooking methods, as well as trying out new ways either by grilling, baking, or broiling trying a different regional or ethnic cuisine, or cooking method like baking or poaching. You probably will not like every single fish because there is such a diversity and you might not be keen on every cooking method but, because there are so many easy fish recipes, everyone can find a recipe they would like to try.
If you are not a fisherman yourself or never were able to go fishing as a kid, and would like to try different varieties of fish not normally found in your region, it is now also possible to purchase wild or commercially farm raised catfish, salmon, and trout at your local fish market or grocery store. There is also an abundance of tasty recipes and cooking methods to please even the fussiest eater, located in our easy fish recipes section which you can reach easily by the links at the top and bottom of our site.
When it comes to fish and seafood, it pays to use and buy good quality fish. This does not necessarily mean you have to get it straight from the fishing boats but it does mean you should be choosy. Fresh fish should smell of the sea rather than have a strong fishy odor, and you should also check for firm flesh and bright eyes. Many easy fish recipes will allow you to use thawed fish and some recipes are suitable for canned fish. If you are able to get very fresh fish though, the recipes will certainly have an extra special quality.
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