There are many ways to cook fish, each producing unique and delicious results. Different cooking methods suit different fish and it also depends whether you are using a whole fish, fillets, or steaks. Stuffing adds texture and flavor. There is more space in the body cavity of round fish. Do not overstuff the fish because most stuffing contains breadcrumbs, which swell when they are cooked. Parsley and walnut pesto, for example, is delicious with sea bass. You can also roll or sandwich fillets with stuffing and oven-bake them.
More 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 are using fillets or small, whole fish, grilling is another cooking method. If your fish are whole, make a few slashes through the skin on each side of the fish and brush it with olive oil or melted mutter. Turn the fish halfway through cooking and baste it if you want. You can also wrap the fish in foil with herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil 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.
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.
Brushing your fish with oil stops it from sticking to the board. When you cook on a wood fish board, you do not flip the fish because it cooks indirectly. Once your fish is prepared, oiled on one side and seasoned, you need to place the fish board and fish directly on the grill. You can baste the fish during cooking but do not use anything flammable. The board should be over a low fire so as not to ignite.
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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