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Methods of cooking fish

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There are various ways in which fish is cooked and the recipes in this chapter are all based upon the basic methods below:

To bake fish:

This means cooking the fish in the oven; it could be baked in just a little seasoned butter or it could have a variety of other ingredients as the recipes you will find here in our food section. If you want the fish to keep moist cover the dish, but if you want the fish to brown slightly on top leave the dish uncovered. Bake whole fish for approximately 12 minutes per lb. (1/2 kg.), fillets for 12 to 20 minutes, depending upon the thickness and most fish cutlets take about 20 minutes. The oven should be set to a moderate to moderately hot temperature, unless stated to the contrary.

To fry fish:

There are two basic ways of frying fish, the first in shallow fat or oil, the second in deep fat or oil.

When frying fish you can coat the fish with seasoned flour, or to give a better coating, with the flour then with beaten egg and fine crisp breadcrumbs. This coating is suitable for both shallow or deep frying.

You can, however, coat the fish with a batter; directions for making this are given under the fried scampi recipes in this section.
If frying in shallow fat allow enough fat or oil to give a good coating in a large frying pan. Put in the fish and fry rapidly on one side then turn and fry on the second side. Thin fillets of fish take only about 4 minutes, but thicker fish will take up to 10 minutes. Lower the heat after browning the fish on either side.

If frying in deep fat or oil, make sure this is really hot you will find advice on testing the temperature in the recipe in this food section. The cooking time when deep frying is a little shorter than when frying in shallow fat or oil.

To Grill Fish:

Make sure the grill is really hot before putting the fish under this. Either cover the grill pan with buttered or oiled foil, or bush the grid of the grill pan with butter or oil. Cook for the same time as shallow fruing, and baste the fish with butter or oil to prevent it drying.

To poach fish:

Often one is told to ‘boil’ fish, this is a mistake, for fish should not be boiled quickly; it spoils the texture and breaks the fish. Put the fish into seasoned cold water, or white wine or fish stock (made simmering bones and skin). Bring to simmering point, then allow 7-10 minutes per lb. (1/2 kg.); in some recipes the fish is put into the heated liquid and simmered.

Canned and frozen fish:

Many fish are either canned or commercially frozen, it is useful to have these in either your store cupboard or freezing compartment of the refrigerator or the freezer.

The official recommendations about storing canned fish is to keep fish in tomato sauce for only up to 1 year and fish in oil for up to 5 years. The most useful canned fish is sardines, for savory toast or sandwiches or used on quick recipes.

There is a wide variety of frozen fish available; much of this can be cooked from the frozen state. Read and follow the manufacturers’ instructions on the packet. Shellfish, however, is generally better thawed out at room temperature. If you are in a hurry, stand the container in cold, not hot water to hasten defrosting.

Remember: When canned fish is removed from the can or the can is opened and when frozen fish is defrosted, these are as perishable as fresh fish.

Delicious Fish to eat

Carb Fish, Lobster Fish, Whiting Fish, Trout Fish, Shrimps, Fish Scallops Fish, Oysters, Fish Mussels, Red Mullet Fish, Salmon Fish, Mackerel Fish and Halibut Fish are the delicious fish to eat.

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