Tips for Cooking Fish

by | Last updated Feb 13, 2021 | Article, Fish, Tips

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Fish can be cooked in many methods, cooking fish as whole, in pieces, steaks or fillets. A well-cooked fish is opaque, juicy, and chewy to your taste. Overcooked fish would become dry and bland. The cooking time of the fish are affected by the thickness of the fish. Never cook a fish frozen, otherwise, you will end up with the outer layer of flesh bland and tore. Serve immediately as fish tend to overcook in hot fish. Reheating the fish is never recommended as that would ruin the texture and flavor of it.


baked fish

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  • Make a few deep cuts down to the bone, so the heat would penetrate well.
  • Season well, outer, inner and inside the cavity.
  • Lightly coat with fats or oil to prevent drying.
  • Using aluminum foil is equivalent to steaming, a slow concentrated steaming.

Grilled or Barbecue

barbecue fish

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  • Brush the fish with fats or oil, or sauce to prevent the fish from drying.
  • Season or marinate the fish before cooking.
  • Fish can be coat with flour or crust.
  • Always start on the skin side.
  • Make sure the grill or spit-roast is very hot to prevent the flesh or skin from sticking.


Poaching fish means to slowly cook the fish in simmering liquid, it could be broth, stock, milk, salted water, etc.

  • The liquid should not reach a bubbling point for a much evenly cooked fish and also prevents the flesh from breaking.
  • Ginger or acidic substance (vinegar, dry wine, beer or lemon juice) should be added to reduce the fishy smell.
  • Poach the fish with just enough liquid covering it.
  • Additionally, you can have one layer of oil for better temperature control and also helps in slowing the liquid from drying.


Steamed fish

Using steam released from boiling liquid at the bottom of the steamer.

  • Always uses clean water for steaming fishes to avoid other smell from contaminating the fish.
  • To prevent the fishy smell, use julienne ginger, fresh herbs, spices, etc.
  • Only begin steaming the fish after the water have reach a full boil and keep covered throughout the whole cooking process.
  • Use ample amount of water to steam for a chewy texture.
  • Never ever steam a fish frozen.


braised fish head

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Cooking for a period of time over low – medium heat in a covered container. This method is recommended for firm-fleshed fish – Giant Grouper, Seabass, etc.

  • Fish can be cooked fried or un-fried.
  • If the fish is large, make a few slashes so the heat could penetrate well.
  • Begin cooking the fish with liquid enough to cover the whole fish, so the fish are cooked more evenly.
  • Keep covered during the cooking process and check every now and then for the doneness of the fish.
  • Once the fish is done, remove it and thicken the sauce.


Frying fish

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Fried fish is the most favorable method of cooking fish. However, it is least favorable from a nutritional point of view, increases fat content.

Two types of frying method can be done – deep frying or shallow drying. Fish can be fried as it is or coated with flour, batter or breadcrumbs.

Deep fried

  • Only immerse the fish into the oil when the oil is reaching boiling point. (When the side begin to smoke) This prevent the fish from sticking to your pan.
  • Switch to medium – low heat once the outer layer begin to turn golden.
  • Use oil with a high smoke-point. Peanut oil, flower oil, etc.
  • When cooked, drain the fish before serving.

Shallow fried or pan fried

  • Use small amount of fats or oil.
  • Ensure the fats or oil is very hot but not smoking. The fish will only stick if the fats or oil is not hot enough.
  • Turn the fish every few minutes or as necessary to cook both side evenly.
  • If you are in a hurry, keep covered as you fried. However, this will soften the outer layer of the fish.

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