HomeFood & DrinkRecipes

The best way to cook fish


1st Jan 2015 Recipes

The best way to cook fish

There are so many ways you can cook fish. Here are some healthy and quick methods to hold onto the delicate flesh and subtle flavours of fish.



Oily fish such as herrings, mackerel and trout are delicious grilled, and their own healthy oils can do all the basting. 
White fish should be marinated first or covered with a glaze or coating to protect its delicate flesh. Depending on size and thickness, fish will take 4-12 minutes to cook.



Barbecuing is a tasty way to cook fish. Try whole oily fish like sardines, trout or mackerel and cook for 4-8 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the fish. If you use a special fish grill that holds whole fish, it will be easy to turn them over.
 White fish is best marinated if it is to be cooked straight on the barbecue, or it can be wrapped in foil parcels with herbs and lemon juice. Or cut chunky white fish into cubes and thread on skewers with vegetables to make wonderful kebabs. Be sure to oil the barbecue grid to ensure the fish doesn't stick to it.



Fish can make a delicious and easy dish when braised with vegetables and a little fish stock or wine. As fish needs so little cooking, it is best to soften the chopped vegetables in a flameproof casserole first, then lay the fish on top and braise on the hob or in the oven. Allow 7-8 minutes for fillets and steaks or about 20 minutes for a whole 1kg (2¼ lb) fish.



Microwaving is an excellent way to cook fish, ensuring that it retains all its moistness, natural flavour and nutrients, and it takes only a few minutes. When microwaving fish fillets or steaks, add a little stock or lemon juice and cover with kitchen paper. If you are microwaving whole fish, slash the skin a few times to prevent it from bursting.



Poaching fish brings out its flavour and keeps it very moist. Fish stock, water and wine, or milk can all be used for poaching. The liquid will retain the water-soluble vitamins from the fish, so don't throw it away–use it to make a sauce or soup.
 When poaching fish, the liquid should never boil–it should be just under simmering point. For a whole fish (around 3.5kg / 6.5lb), put it into a pan with cold liquid to cover, put the lid on and bring to a simmer. Poach for 8-12 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool in the liquid.



Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook fish as it uses no fat and, because the fish does not come into direct contact with liquid, most of the vital nutrients are retained. Use herbs and aromatics to add flavour, or steam fish on a bed of seaweed or samphire for an extra taste of the sea.



Fish is delicious briefly pan-fried in a little oil or butter. If you use a non-stick frying pan or a ridged cast iron grill pan and heat the pan well, you'll need only a tiny amount of fat. Pan-fried fish takes only 2-3 minutes cooking on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish.



Stir-frying is ideal for small pieces of fish, which take only moments to cook.

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...