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On this page you'll find many cooking methods and guidelines. Also you'll find some basic and not so basic brines, marinades, sauces, stuffing, etc. If you have more methods or recipes for this page please .


Cooking Guidelines and Methods for Fish

Fish are naturally tender and contain very little connective tissue. Unlike meat, they require short cooking times at a high temperature.

Guidelines for Cooking Fish

Measure fish (dressed or stuffed, fillets or steaks) at thickest part.
Allow 5-7 minutes cooking time per cm of thickness (10 minutes per inch) for fresh fish.
Allow 10-12 minutes cooking time per cm of thickness (20 minutes per inch) for frozen fish.
Fish is ready when fish is opaque and flakes easily.
DO NOT OVERCOOK
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Dry Heat Cooking Methods

Baking
Baking is the process of cooking fish at certain temperatures in an oven.
Place fish in a greased baking pan.
Brush with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
Bake in center of preheated oven at 230 degrees celsius (450 degrees fahrenheit).
Follow cooking guidelines above.
-Use fresh or thawed fish
-Flavor with basting sauce, lemon juice or dry white wine
-Stuff dressed fish no more than 2/3 full
-Serve as is or with a sauce
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Barbecuing
Barbecuing is the process of cooking fish at high temperatures over coals or an open flame.
Marinate fish.
Place in oiled wire basket on oiled grill.
Baste with marinade during cooking.
Cook 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) above coals or flame, turning halfway through cooking time.
Follow cooking guidelines above.
-Use fresh or thawed fish
-Place charcoal/propane barbecue in a well ventilated location. Adjust air trap.
-Try this method for kababs or for foil-wrapped fish with vegetables.
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Blackening
Blackening is the process of cooking fish by coating in spice and cooking at extremely high heat. The process actually creates a barrier between the food and the heat, allowing blackening, not burning, to occur.
To blacken properly, a cast iron skillet or grill plate is heated over very high temperature until just short of a white spot or ash appearing. (The skillet or grill must be extremely dry before it is heated.) The fish to be grilled should be at room temperature. Dip fish into melted, clarified butter, then sprinkle with spice (notes: for more flavor, roll fish into spice mix before cooking and the butter can be omitted to reduce calories). Place the fish onto the pan, cooking for 1-2 minutes on each side. Blackening adds a distinctive flavor to fish while creating a savoury, moisture-retaining barrier around the outside. The result? Warm, smoky grilled flavors and succulent textures. The high heat required by blackening means that you will need a skillet or pan made of cast iron. There is really no substitute. Also, blackening will create smoke… (and how!). Work in a well-ventilated area - outdoors using a gas grill will work, as will a commercial kitchen environment.
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Broiling
Broiling is the process of cooking fish under an open flame or electric element at high temperatures.
Brush fish with melted butter and season OR marinate.
Place in single layer on a well greased broiler pan.
Broil 7-10 cm (3-4 inches) from the preheated unit. Baste during cooking.
Follow cooking guidelines above.
-Use fresh or thawed fish
-Turn thick pieces halfway through cooking time
-Serve as is or with a sauce
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Bronzing
Bronzing is a name that we apply to a technique similar to “blackening”, but at a lower temperature than is required for blackening. As with blackening, bronzing is cooking fish by coating the fish in spice and cooking it quickly on a pan or grill. Bronzing spices generally contain more herbs than blackening spices. The spice and the cooking process create a crispy, flavorful barrier around the fish being bronzed. To “bronze” properly, a stainless steel pan is heated over high temperature. (The skillet or grill should be dry before it is heated.) The food to be grilled should be at room temperature. Sprinkle the food with bronzing spice (notes: for more flavour, roll food into spice mix before cooking). Place the food onto the pan, drizzle with a small amount of melted, clarified butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and drizzle again with a small amount of butter. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and remove from the pan. Bronzing adds a distinctive flavour to fish while creating a savoury, moisture-retaining barrier around the outside. By creating a crisp, savoury coating of spice, the full flavour of the fish being bronzed develops inside – creating a delicious balance between the discrete combinations of flavour and texture. The heat required by bronzing means that you will need a good quality stainless steel pan which won’t warp when heated. A slim stainless or Teflon spatula is also helpful to remove the food from the pan without tearing the outer, spiced layer of the food away.
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Microwave Baking
Microwave baking is the process of cooking fish using microwaves that generate heat internally instead of externally. Therefore only the fish becomes hot. Any heat noticed inside the oven or from the baking dishes comes from the fish as it becomes hot. Thus time, not temperature and heat, is the variable in microwave cooking.
Melt butter at High Power.
Mix with chopped parsley, green onion and lemon juice.
Remove half of mixture and reserve.
Arrange 500 gm of fish in dish; season to taste.
Top with remaining mixture.
Cover; microwave at High Power 6-8 minutes, rotating dish during cooking.
Let stand covered for 2 minutes.
-Use fresh or thawed fish
See our page on microwaving food.
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Moist Heat Cooking Methods

Oven Steaming
Oven steaming is the process of cooking fish wrapped in aluminum foil in an oven with a cooking liquid or sauce.
Place on greased heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Season, flavor with lemon juice, butter and parsley.
Wrap tightly.
Place on cookie sheet.
Bake in center of preheated oven at 230 degrees celsius (450 degrees fahrenheit).
Follow cooking guidelines above.
-Use fresh or frozen fish
-Flavor with wine, herbs, juice or vegetables
-Use cooking liquid for sauce
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Poaching in Court-Bouillon
Poaching is the process of cooking fish in boiling water.
Prepare a court-bouillon.
Wrap fish in cheese cloth.
Place in rapidly boiling liquid, cover pan, return to boil, then reduce to simmer.
Follow cooking guidelines above.
-Use fresh or frozen fish
-Drain court-bouillon for reuse, refrigerate for up to 1 week or keep frozen for up to 2 months
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Poaching in Water or Milk
Cook fish directly in salted boiling water OR wrap tightly in greased heavy-duty aluminum foil with chopped onion, celery, salt and pepper; place in rapidly boiling water.
Cover pan, return to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
To poach smoked fillets, cover with cold milk flavored with butter, bay leaf, pepper; simmer.
Follow cooking guidelines above.
-Use fresh or frozen fish
-Use 2ml of salt per L of water (1/4 tsp per quart) for fish
-Use poaching liquid for white, cheese or egg sauce
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Frying Cooking Methods

Pan-Frying
Frying is the process of cooking fish in an open pan or pot using butter, lard or oil.
Season each portion of fish.
Cover lightly with flour.
dip in liquid (milk or beaten egg).
Coat with flour or crumbs.
Heat butter or cooking fat.
Fry on both sides>
Follow cooking guidelines above.
Drain on absorbent paper.
-Use fresh or thawed fish
-Try this method for fish cakes or small fish such as smelt and rainbow trout
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Deep Frying
Preheat oil to 190 degrees celsius (375 degrees fahrenheit).
Sprinkle fish with salt.
coat with batter OR cover lightly with flour, dip in milk or beaten egg, then coat with flour or crumbs.
Fry a few pieces at a time.
Follow cooking guidelines above.
Drain on absorbent paper.
-Use fresh or thawed fish
-Be sure the fat returns to 190 degrees celsius (375 degrees fahrenheit) before frying additional pieces
-Serve with lemon wedges or sauce
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Cooking Basics

Brine Solutions for Freezing
1 liter cold water (4 cups)- 50 ml (3 Tbsp) pickling salt. OR
1 liter cold water (4 cups)- 40 ml (2.5 Tbsp) pickling salt.

Stir well to dissolve salt. Use as directed for freezing fish
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Court-Bouillon for Poaching
125 ml (1/2 cup) vinegar or dry white wine.
15 ml (1 Tbsp) salt.
1 celery stalk.
50 ml (1/4 cup) sliced onion.
50 ml (1/4 cup) sliced carrot.
1 ml (1/4 tsp) thyme.
2 ml (1/2 tsp) peppercorn.
1 Bay leaf.
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped parsley.
1 L (4 cups) boiling water.

Combine all ingredients and pour over fish fillets. Cover and boil gently 10 minutes. Use to poach fish. Strain, then use as a base for soups and sauces or freeze for reuse in poaching. Makes about 1 liter (4 cups).
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Crispy Batter for Deep-Frying
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour.
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder.
6 ml (1.25 tsp) salt.
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar.
15 ml (1 Tbsp) vegetable oil.
250 ml (1 cup) water.

Mix and sift dry ingredients. Add oil to water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in liquid, stirring until well-blended. Makes enough for 1 kg. (2.2 pounds) fish.
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Marinades

Fish Marinade
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons prepared brown mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a bowl combine white wine, lemon juice, salt, prepared brown mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper. Marinade the fish 6-12 hours. Use the marinade as a basting sauce while cooking. Serving Size: 6
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Basic Sauces

Chilled Sauces for Fish

Cocktail Sauce:
125 ml (1/2 cup) chili sauce.
100 ml (1/3 cup) ketchup.
100 ml (1/3 cup) prepared horseradish.
7 ml (1.5 tsp) Worcestershire sauce

Mix. Serve well-chilled.
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Flavored Mayonnaise:
Add color and flavor with herbs, tomato paste, saffron, turmeric or curry powder. Season with garlic, ginger, shallots, lemon juice, and/or cream.
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Tartar Sauce:
250 ml (1 cup) mayonnaise
15 ml (1Tbsp) green relish
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped parsley

Mix. Serve well-chilled.
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Cooked Sauces for Fish

Cheese Sauce:
Make a medium white sauce with milk and/or fish stock. Add grated cheese, stir until melted.
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Chinesey Fish Sauce:
30 ml (2 Tbsp) flour
75 ml (5 Tbsp) granulated sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) ginger
150 ml (1/2 cup) water
75 ml (5 Tbsp) white vinegar
75 ml (5 Tbsp) soy sauce
30 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped green onion

Mix flour, sugar, and ginger. Add to water, vinegar, and soy sauce in saucepan. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until thick. Serve over hot cooked fish; top portions with chopped green onion.
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Lemon Chive Sauce:
50 ml (3 Tbsp) butter
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped chives
10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
2 ml (1/2 tsp) grated lemon rind

Heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Lemon Dill Sauce for Fish
2 teaspoons yogurt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon dillweed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large bowl, blend together yogurt with cornstarch, dillweed, and pepper until smooth. To cook with fish: Brush lemon juice over the fish and broil until almost cooked. Turn the fish and brush evenly with the yogurt/dill sauce. Continue broiling until fish flakes easily. Serving Size: 4
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Tomato Sauce:
25 ml (2 Tbsp) chopped onion
25 ml (1 Tbsp) butter
25 ml (1 Tbsp) flour
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
500 ml (19 oz) canned tomatoes, chopped
1 Bay leaf

Saute onion in butter. Thicken with flour. Add sugar, tomato and bay leaf. Cook until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Stuffing

Bread Fish Stuffing:
60 ml (4 Tbsp) chopped onion
75 ml (5 Tbsp) chopped celery
75 ml (5 Tbsp) chopped green pepper
60 ml (4 Tbsp) butter or margarine
725 ml (2 3/4 cup) soft bread crumbs
5 ml (1 tsp) salt-f.g. white pepper
1 ml (1/4 tsp) thyme leaves
1 ml (1/4 tsp) savoury

Cook onion, celery, and green pepper in butter or margarine for a few minutes until onion is transparent. Add to bread crumbs with seasonings; toss lightly. Makes enough to stuff a 1.5-2 kg (2-5 pound) dressed fish.
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Lemon Rice Fish Stuffing:
75 ml (5 Tbsp) butter or margarine
250 ml (1 cup) sliced celery
50 ml (3 Tbsp) chopped onion
250 ml (1 cup) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 ml (1/4 tsp) poultry seasoning
8 ml (1 3/4 tsp) salt
3 ml (3/4 tsp) white pepper
10 ml (2 tsp) grated lemon rind
15 ml (1 Tbsp) chopped parsley
60 ml (4 Tbsp) lemon juice
325 ml (1 1/4 cup) water
425 ml (1 3/4 cup) instant rice

Melt butter or margarine in fry pan. Add celery, onion, and mushrooms; cook for few minutes until onion is transparent. Add seasonings, lemon rind, parsley, lemon juice, and water; bring to boil. Add rice; cover remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Makes enough to stuff and serve a 4 kg (9 pound) fish.
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