Best way to cook
Nutritional value: Low in saturated fat and sodium, high in naicin, vitamin B12 and B6 and potassium
You can choose to fry your fish as is or cover it in flour or breadcrumbs. Using the extra coating will give your fish more texture and body. If you’re going to dip it in flour, soak the fish in a bowl of milk for 3 to 5 minutes, before covering it in flour or breadcrumbs. This will help the coating stick to the fish.
Get your pan ready for frying by pouring a few tablespoons of vegetable oil into it. You can also use clarified butter which will taste great on the fish. Heat the pan until the oil slides around easily. You can splatter a few drops of water in the pan – if the water sizzles, it’s ready for your fish. Place the fish flesh side down in the pan – the side you’ll be presenting to your diner (the non-skin side).
Once your fish is in the pan, slide a spatula gently underneath to prevent it from sticking. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on one side and then flip it. Fish usually cooks for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Use a wide spatula to prevent breaking the fish. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the flesh turns pearly white and flakes easily with a fork. Carefully lift it out of the pan and serve immediately.
Grilling fish gives you a great advantage as you have complete control over the temperature. Always coat your fish with oil or fat to prevent sticking. As you’re heating your grill, cover the grate loosely with aluminium foil. The intense heat will cause any residue to dissolve, starting the cleaning process for you. This also minimizes sticking.
Blast the heat to 288°C. Remove the aluminium foil. Using a grill brush, scrape the grate clean. Fold a few sheets of paper towels into a small pad, dip them in oil using tongs and rub over the bars of the grate until it looks glossy.
Choose fillets that are thick and sturdy for grilling and can stand up to the intense heat of a live fire. Cut your fish into portions that have an even thickness to ensure you don’t have any dry or undercooked parts. Coat your fish with some olive oil, salt and pepper and place it skin-side down and diagonally on the grill.
This makes it easier to flip the fish as it’s lying on an angle. The fish will take 8 minutes to cook through per inch of thickness, taking about 3-5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the grill and let it cook. When cooked properly, the meat will be firm to the touch, flake easily with a fork and appear opaque all the way through.
Poaching is an easy way to cook fish quickly. First rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Place the fish in a large saucepan and add enough poaching liquid to the pan to cover the fish. The simplest is to use water as your liquid and add a little lemon juice, garlic, onions, herbs and spices. You can also use some dry white wine, vinegar, broth and milk.
Bring the poaching liquid to a simmer over medium heat and cook the fish for 10 minutes or until the center of the fish seems opaque and it flakes easily when poked by a fork. It’s important not to bring the fish to a rolling boil – keep it at a simmer. When the fish is done, remove it from the liquid with a spatula. Serve the fish hot, out of the poaching liquid with a sauce of your choice.
Steamed Monk Fish in Black Bean Sauce
- 400 grams fish fillets(Monk)
- 2 tbsps bean paste(Chinese black)
- 4 tbsps sake(or chicken stock)
- 2 cloves garlic(finely chopped)
- 54 cms ginger(piece of peeled, finely chopped)
- 1 spring onions(cut in 5cm length and split finely for garnish)
- 1/2 fresh red chili(chopped finely)
- Prepare you pot of water for the steamer, or pre-heat the oven to 180 °C if oven baking.
- Coat the fish in the black bean sauce, and place on a heat proof plate
- Mix the Sake or chicken stock with the Sesame oil, and pour over the fish
- Top with the garlic, ginger and chili
- Steam or bake for 10 minutes or until cooked. Transfer the fish to the serving plates, and spoon over the cooking liquid, garnish with the spring onion slices.
*Recipe provided courtesy of Yummly