5 Ways To Cook Fish (Other Than Stew, Curry And Fry)

Discovering new ways to cook fish can completely change the way each variation tastes. Whether it be the addition of smokiness or development of textural elements, a new method of cooking can reinvent a piece of fish. We’ve selected our favourite methods to cook fish and detailed why you should do a little more than just stew, curry or fry your fish.

#1 Grill

This cooking technique works well with thick, beefy fish (think tuna, mahi-mahi and swordfish). Grilling allows you to develop and appreciate the meatiness and flavour of the actual fish meat without too many ingredient interruptions. To get that coveted char and optimal smoky flavour, we recommend a clean grill on medium-high heat and fish that’s completely dry before hitting the fire.

Try our Grilled Fish with Lentil and Beet Salad.

Hint: When flipping your fish, if it doesn’t easily release, then it’s not ready to flip. Leave the fish on a bit longer to prevent it from breaking up — don’t force the flip.

#2 Ceviche

Ceviche is a method of curing fish with acids like lemon, lime or orange juice and then, flavouring it with onions, garlic, cilantro and other aromatics. Though uncommon in Trinidad, we have the perfect ingredients for an amazing ceviche: fresh fish and shrimp, the best citrus and bountiful aromatics. It can sound daunting — after all, it is raw fish that’s ‘cooked’ in acid — however, curing your fish results in a bright seafood ‘salad’ that is refreshing, healthy and almost chow-like.

Try our Passion Fruit Ceviche.

Hint: Use white fish or shrimp, orange and lime juices, chadon beni and scotch bonnet peppers as your flavourings for a ‘Trini-style ceviche’.

#3 Pan Sear

Pan-searing is a simple technique that not a lot of Trinis practise even though it requires basic elements. A pan, oil, fish and seasonings are all you need to create a succulent piece of fish — making it the perfect everyday technique. Achieving a crispy skin or crust, while also keeping the fish moist and flaky is the major benefit of this cooking technique and a much needed textural contrast.

Salmon and snapper are the best types of fish for achieving the perfect crispy skin, as they both have the appropriate thickness of skin. A versatile seasoning blend for pan-seared fish is equal parts salt, black pepper and chilli, garlic and onion powder. Season fish and cook skin side down for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Hint: Score the skin of your fish in a shallow cross-hatch pattern for optimal seasoning penetration and guaranteed crispiness.

#4 En Papillote

This very fancy-sounding method of cooking fish literally means “cooked in parchment paper” (but realistically, foil or a paper bag work, too). This method involves wrapping fish, along with aromatics and vegetables (think ginger, garlic, onion, carrots) in the parchment paper and baking it in the oven. The parchment paper is tightly wound to create steam from the heat of the oven and add moisture to the parcel’s contents. This gently cooks the fish, aromatics and vegetables, creating a moist piece of fish that is thoroughly infused with flavours en papillote. Delicate variations of white fish like tilapia and haddock are best for this method of cooking.

Hint: Open the papillote at the table to allow your guests to experience the intense aroma of this cooking technique.

#5 Poached

Poaching is a great method for fish like salmon, mahi-mahi and tuna, as they suffer from a lack of moisture and easily dry out. Submerge fish in a liquid (something slightly acidic and aromatic broth) at hot-but-not-boiling temperature and gently cook. You can either go small by poaching few fillets or go ham by poaching the whole fish. Depending on the type and size of the fish, it should be cooked through between 5 and 10 minutes. Remove the fish carefully as it will be extremely fragile.

Try this Poached Snapper.

Hint: We recommend serving your fish with a sauce or salsa as while flavourful and moist, it will still need an additional element.

Stephanie Pulwarty

Editor-In-Chief

Stephanie loves food, coffee and travelling. Good thing all three come in handy for her job.

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