The 5 Secrets to Cooking Fish You Should Be Using

Buying the freshest catch is only the beginning...

What’s not to love about a healthy dinner made with local bounty? Well, if that meal involves fish, let us count the ways: It sticks to the pan, flakes into the grill and, oh, it smells up our entire house for three days. 

Well, fear cooking fish no more. We’ve got five chef-grade secrets that will make cooking fish super easy. Oh, and you’ll even come out smelling like roses.

Jakub Kapusnak/Foodies Feed

Pick the Right Fish

This is where it all starts. When you’re browsing the fish vitrine, consult the free Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app to know which fish are sustainable. From there, choose by how you're going to cook the fish. If you’re grilling, go for something meatier, like swordfish, and if you’re baking, a denser-flesh fish like arctic char.

Spice It Up

Michelin-starred chef Michael Cimarusti is opening sustainable seafood market Cape Seafood and Provisions this month on Fairfax. So if he talks about fish, we listen. He recommends using fennel and anise to add major aromas to your dishes or even sprinkling a pre-mixed seasoning on your fish like Penzeys Sunny Spain ($4.50), a mixture of black pepper, lemon peel, garlic and onion.

fish basket

Get a Grill Basket

The last time you tried to grill a whole fish--well, we don’t even have to talk about it. Next time, use a fish basket ($22). It’s a handy, easy-to-use gadget that will keep your dinner from falling apart when you flip it over. 

Master the Spatula

A delicate task, like maneuvering a tilapia fillet around a pan, requires delicate equipment: A super-thin and flexible slotted spatula ($24) is the way to go. Its beveled edge slides under the fillet and lets you flip it while the slots let your cooking oil or poaching liquid slide through.

Use Good Scents

Too often, we’re hesitant to serve seafood because we don’t want our home to reek. Fear not--just boil a cinnamon stick, a teaspoon of cloves and a teaspoon of ground ginger in a medium pot full of water for 15 minutes while cooking. Voilà! No fish smell (and remember to seal fish scraps in a plastic bag before you throw in the trash).

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...