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How to Select and Cook Fish

There is a lot of fish out there!

Fresh fish SHOULD NOT SMELL. If it does it may have gone bad. Don't eat it. The fish should be firm and the skin shiny. Look the fish in the eye. The eye should be bright and pop out a little from the head. Buy wild fish as opposed to farmed. It usually tastes better and has higher Omega 3 fat, which is good for you.

Fish can be either lean (cod, halibut, sole, red snapper, sea bass), which tend to be milder in flavor, or oily (salmon, trout, anchovies, tuna) which have a richer flavor. Make friends with the fish guy at the market (aka your fish monger). He or she can tell what is fresh and they can also clean and skin your fish for you.

Did you know there is no such fish called sea bass? It's actually called a drum fish. Sea bass is a more attractive name for marketing purposes.

Below is a list of common North American fish. The cooking / serving temperatures is after this chart.

Type of Fish                Source                        Characteristics            Cooking Method

Anchovy

Salt water

Small and oily

Bake, grill

Anglar

(monkfish: the poor mans� lobster)

Salt water

Lean

Bake, braise, grill, poach, steam, stew

Fin Fish Barracuda

Salt water Pacific

Moderate oily, firm texture

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, steam, stew

Bass

Salt water Atlantic and Pacific

Moderate oily, firm, smooth textured

Bake, braise, broil, grill, stew

Blue Fish

Salt water Atlantic and Gulf

Oily, strong

Bake, braise, broil, grill, stew

Bonito

Salt water

Moderate oily

Bake, boil, grill

Butterfish

Salt water Atlantic and Pacific

Oily, soft, mild

Bark, broil, grill

Catfish

Fresh water

Moderate oily, firm and sweet

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, steam, stew

Cod

Salt water Atlantic

Lean, firm, mild

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, steam, stew

Drum (Sea bass)

Salt water

Lean, fine, white flesh

Bake, broil, grill, poach, stew

Eel

Fresh water and Salt water

Oily

Bake, braise, grill, stew

 

Flounder

 

Salt water Atlantic

 

Lean, delicate, mild

 

Bake, broil, grill, poach, sauté, stew

Grouper

Salt water Atlantic � Gulf

Lean, firm, mild

Bake, braise, broil, fry, grill, poach, steam, stew

Haddock

Salt water Atlantic

Lean, firm, mild

Bake, braise, broil, fry, grill, poach, steam, stew

Hake

Salt water Atlantic and North Pacific

Lean, firm, mild

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, steam, stew

Halibut

Salt water Atlantic and North Pacific

Lean and delicate flavored

Bake, broil, grill, poach, sauté, steam

Herring

Salt water Atlantic and Pacific

Oily, soft-textured

Bake, broil, grill, pickle

Herring, Lake

 (Lake Trout)

Fresh water northern lakes

Very oily, smooth, salty taste

Bake, broil, grill, poach, sauté, steam

Mackerel

Salt water Florida coast and Gulf of Mexico

Very oily, soft flesh.

Bake, braise, broil, grill, pickle, stew

Perch

Fresh water Northern Lakes and Rivers

Lean, firm, sweet

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, sauté steam, stew

Pike

Fresh water Northern Lakes and Rivers

Lean, firm, sweet

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, sauté steam, stew

Pollock

Salt water Atlantic

Lean, firm mildly sweet

Bake, braise, broil, grill, poach, sauté steam, stew

Pompano

Salt water Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

Moderate oily, firm full textured

Bake, broil, grill, panfry, sauté

Red Snapper � many fish labeled Red Snapper are Rock Fish

Salt water �

Lean

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, sauté steam, stew

Sable Fish

(Black Cod � Butterfish)

Salt water � North Pacific

Oily, buttery flavor

Bake, braise, broil, grill, stew

Salmon, Atlantic

Salt Water � Atlantic

Moderate oily

Bake, braise, broil, poach, sauté, smoke, steam

Salmon, Chum

Salt water Pacific

Moderate oily � lowest fat content of all Salmon

Bake, braise, broil, poach, sauté, smoke, steam

 

 

Salmon, King

 

 

Salt water Atlantic, pacific

 

 

Oily � lovely

 

 

Bake, braise, broil, poach, sauté, smoke, steam

Shark

Salt water

Lean

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, sauté steam, stew

Sole

Salt water

Lean

Bake, broil, grill, poach, sauté steam, stew

Scrod

Salt water Pacific and Atlantic

Lean, chewy

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, sauté steam, stew

Striped Bass

Salt water

Moderate oily

Bake, braise, broil, grill, panfry, poach, sauté steam, stew

Swordfish

Salt water

Moderate oily

Bake, braise, broil, grill, stew

Trout

Fresh water

Moderate oily

Bake, broil, grill, poach, sauté, Smoke, steam

Tuna

Salt water

Oily

Bake, braise, broil, grill, sauté, stew

 

 

Cooking Temperatures

Fish

 

Fish -Thin Fillets
 1/2 inch each cook very quickly watch
(Sole, catfish, basa fish, flounder, haddock) 

140º F 60ºC

Flesh is opaque, flakes easily

Fish Thick Fillets
1 and 1 half inches thick. (Snapper, cod, Salmon, monkfish)

140º F 60ºC

Flesh is opaque, flakes easily

Fish Steaks
 1 inch thick filleted or whole). They include tuna, salmon, swordfish, mahi mahi and shark

 125°F 50ºC cook until medium-rare (do not overcook or the meat will become dry and lose its flavor)

Whole Fish

140º F 60ºC

Flesh is opaque, flakes easily

 

 

 

 







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