Baking Fish

Baking is a dry heat method of cooking in which little or no liquid is used. Some also call it roasting. The fish may cook covered or uncovered. However, if the fish are covered more moisture will be retained, making for a juicer fish. Whole fish should be baked at around 375 degrees while smaller fish should be baked at around 425 degrees. The higher heat cooks thin fish quickly and evenly, while for a larger fish the high heat would quickly cook the outside before the inside was done.

For large fish, one should slash it on both sides for even baking. Remember to preheat the oven so that the fish begins to cook immediately. The fish does not need to be turned during baking, because the heat is evenly distributed. Fr the most part, whole fish and some chunky fish steaks and fillets are perfect for baking. Examples include cod and halibut.

It is a great idea to bake in parcel paper because it uses n fat and the fish retain all of the flavor. This is known as En Papillote (in a parcel). One may also use aluminum foil. There are also a few baking dishes available that are perfect for fish. It all depends on the size of the fish, but typically an oval baking dish works wonders. In baking, if one wishes to prevent over drying, one may bake in a small amount of liquid ( butter or oil). However, this is also adding fat content, so be wary.

Stir fried fish with oyster sauce

Serves 2 -4

Ginger and green onion are great t add to any seafood dish to remove any fishy smell.


  • 1 pound fish fillets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch divided
  • 1/3 cup pus 4 teaspoons water divided
  • 4 ½ teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided
  • 2 thin slices of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ pound fresh mushrooms thinly sliced.
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, optional

Cut the fish fillets into 1 ½ to 2 inch squares that are about ½ inch thick. Place the fish cubes in a bowl and add the salt, egg white, rice wine or sherry, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.
Combine a 1/3 cup water, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce in a bowl. In a separate bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch into 4 teaspoons water.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium high heat until it is nearly smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced ginger. Let brown for 2-3 minutes and remove from the pan. Add the minced ginger, stir fry for 10 seconds and then add the fish. Let the fish sit in the pan briefly, then gently stir fry the fish cubes until they turn white and are firm. Remove the fish and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the wok or skillet. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and the green onion, stir fry for 10 seconds, then add the mushrooms. Stir fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes or until they begin to darken. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon black pepper over the mushrooms while stir frying if desired.
Push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan. Add the sauce in the middle of the pan and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch and the water mixture into the sauce, stirring quickly to thicken. When the sauce has thickened, add the fish back into the pan. Stir fry for another minute to mix everything together. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve hot

Preparing Fish

Round Fish

Scaling and fining a round fish

  1. Hold the fish firmly by its tail; scrape towards the head of the fish with a scalar or the blunt side of a knife.
  2. Rinse the fish thoroughly under cold running water to remove any remaining scales and residue which may be clinging to the skin.
  3. Trim the dorsal fin with a pair of scissors. To remove the whole fin, snip through most of the fin in the direction of the head and the pull

Cleaning a round fish

  1. Holding the body of the fish firmly cut the head off just behind the gills. The head may be saved for use in fish stock.
  2. Cut down the underside of the fish to the tail and remove the innards, which should come out with ease.
  3. Clean and remove any remaining residue by rinsing the fish thoroughly in cold running water.

Filleting a round fish

  1. Holding the fish firmly, cut along the backbone from just behind the head to the tail.
  2. Cut across the fish and slide the knife between the ribs and flesh.
  3. Carefully lift the fillet away, taking care not to break up the flesh.

Flat Fish

Skinning a Flat fish

  1. Dip your fingers in salt to get a good grip and then hold the fish by its tail and make a cut across the skin just above the tail
  2. Begin peeling the skin away from the cut. Pull the skin over the head, turn the fish over and pull the skin off the underside.

Filleting a flat fish

  1. After skinning the fish cut down, but not through the backbone from behind the head to the tail.
  2. Insert the knife under the flesh at the top of the fish and cut down between the flesh and the bones until the fillet lifts off. Repeat on the other side.

Skinning fillet

Get a firm grip on the tail end of the fillet, make a cut across the flesh and ease the fillet away from the skin in a sliding motion.

What to serve with Fish and Seafood

Vegetables and side dishes: Starches are great with fish and seafood. The French love to serve baguettes (those long tasty bead flutes). For other meals tiny boiled potatoes with the skins left on are great. For green vegetables, peas go great, so does zucchini, unpeeled and stir fried with some garlic or with mushrooms.

Salads and Salad platters: Tossed salads for fish meals are best when lemon juice is included in the dressing. Tart dressings are great to clear the palate. Sometimes it is even good to serve a plain salad with no added vegetable, especially when grilling.

What to drink with Fish: Except for those who avoid alcoholic beverages, it is traditional to serve chilled, light whine. Some prefer light and fruity whines. Another great drink is champagne, and some still prefer a great cold beer to go with their fish. non alcoholic drinks that go great include grapefruit juice, dry ginger ale and club soda. Anything with a twist of lime also goes great!

With fish centered dishes, there are many options!

Nutrition value in Fish

Fish is a good bet nutritionally. We should all eat more of it because it is better for us in more ways than meat.

Protein: fish is higher in protein than beef! The average amount in fish is about 19 %, as compared to 15% in most beef.

Fat: Fish is extremely low in fat. Most fish contains fewer than 5% fat. The fattiest fish around is only 18% fat! On the other hand, on average beef contains 30% fat. The fat that fish does contain is unsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are good fats. They do not contribute to cholesterol. Some argue that this type of fat actually reduces cholesterol.

Carbohydrates and calories:
fish contain absolutely no carbohydrates. Fish is both low in fat and low in carbohydrates, and has an obvious low caloric value

Vitamins and Minerals: Fish is high in vitamins, particularly vitamin A and D and is also high in minerals. Fish is also low in sodium.

Digestibility: Fish have very little connective tissue, this is why fish cooks so quickly, and also why fish flakes when it falls apart. This is also why fish is highly digestible.

Fish and vegetable Gazpacho

Serves 4 to 6


  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen skinless fish fillets ( cod, grouper, or trout)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 14 ½ ounce can vegetable or reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 1 10- ounce can tomatoes with jalapeno peppers
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped ( 1 cup)
  • 1 small yellow summer squash or zucchini, c hopped ( 1 cup)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped ( 1 cup)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced ( ¼ cup)

Thaw the fish if frozen. Rinse the fish. Cut the fish into ½ inch pieces

In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling; add fish. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain the fish; cove and chill.

In a medium saucepan combine the broth, cumin, garlic powder, and hot pepper sauce. Bring mixture to boiling. Remove from heat. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, cucumber, yellow summer squash, or zucchini, plum tomatoes, and green onions. Cover and chill for 4 to 12 hours. Before serving, stir chilled fish into the vegetable mixture. Makes 4 to 6 servings

Nutrition: 124 calories per serving, 16 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat ( 0 g saturated), 33 mg cholesterol, 677 mg sodium, 506 mg potassium.

Thai Fish Broth

This authentic Thai dish is sure to please!

Serves 2 to 3


  • 4 cups fish or chicken stock
  • 4 lemon grass stalks
  • 3 limes
  • 2 small fresh hot red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2cm a piece of fresh galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 coriander stalks, with leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 12 oz monkfish fillet, skinned and cut into 2.5 cm
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, to garnish
  1. Put the stock into a saucepan and bring to boil. Meanwhile, slice the bulb ends of each lemon grass stalk diagonally into pieces about 3 mm thick. Peel off four wide strips of lime rind with a potato peeler, taking care to avoid the white pith underneath which would make the soup biter. Squeeze the limes and reserve the juice.
  2. Add the sliced lemon grass, lime rind, chilies, galangal and coriander stalks to the stock, with the kaffir lime leaves, if using. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the monkfish, rice vinegar and Thai fish sauce, with half of the reserved lime juice. Simmer for about 3 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. Lift out and discard the coriander stalks, taste the broth and add more lime juice if necessary; the soup should taste quite sour. Sprinkle with the coriander leaves and serve very hot.

Smoked Eel and Chicory Salad

Smoked eel has become a very popular dish, and is seen on the most sophisticated tables.

Serves 4

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 lb smoked eel fillets, skinned
  • 2 large heads of chicory, separated
  • 4 radicchio leaves
  • Flat leaf parsley leaves, to garnish

For the citrus dressing

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Cut the fillets diagonally into 8 pieces. Make the dressing. Using the zestier, carefully remove the rind in strips from the lemon and the orange. Squeeze the juice from both fruit. Set the lemon juice aside and pour the orange juice into a small pan. Stir the rinds and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Leave to cool.
  2. Whisk the Dijon mustard, reserved lemon juice and the sunflower oil together in a bowl. Add the orange juice mixture, then stir in the chopped fresh parsley. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper and whisk again.
  3. Arrange the Chicory leaves in a circle on individual plates, with the pointed ends radiating outwards like the spokes of a wheel. Take the radicchio leaves between the chicory leaves
  4. Drizzle a little of the dressing over the leaves and place four pieces of the eel in a star shape in the middle. Garnish with the parsley leaves and serve. Offer the remaining dressing separately.

Red Mullet with Raspberry dressing

Red mullet and raspberry vinegar is a delicious combination in this starter salad!

Serves 4


  • 8 red mullet fillets, scaled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
  • 6 oz mixed dark green and red salad leaves, such as lamb’s lettuce, radicchio, oak leaf lettuce and rocket
  • Salt and ground black pepper

For the raspberry dressing

  • 1 cup raspberries, pureed and sieved
  • 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ – ½ tsp caster sugar
  1. Lay the red mullet fillets in a shallow dish. Whisk together the olive oil and raspberry vinegar, add a pinch of salt and drizzle the mixture over the fish. Cover and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients to season and taste.
  3. Wash ad dry the salad leaves, put them in a bowl, pour over most of the dressing and toss lightly.
  4. Heat a rigid grilling pan or frying pan until very hot, put in the red mullet fillets and fry for 2- 3 minutes on each side, until just cooked. Cut the fillets diagonally in half to make rough diamond shapes.
  5. Arrange a tall heap of salad in the middle of each serving plate. Prop up four red mullet fillet halves on the salad on each plate with the reserved dressing spooned around. Serve.

Oriental Spinach Tuna Salad

Japanese rice vinegar has a pale straw colored sauce that is mild.

Serves 4


  • 6 cups torn spinach
  • 1 9 ¼ ounce can water packed tuna, chilled, drained, and broken into large pieces
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 8- ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped ( ½ cup)
  • 1 green onion, sliced ( 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white whine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce

In a large salad bowl combine spinach, tuna, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, tomato wedges, celery, and green onion. Toss to mix.

For the dressing, in a screw top jar combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar or white whine vinegar, water, sesame oil, sugar, dry mustard, and bottled hot pepper sauce. Cover and shake well to mix.

Pour the dressing over the spinach mixture. Toss to coat. This makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
172 calories, 24 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3g fat( 1 g saturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 1,095 mg sodium, 928 mg potassium.

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