How to cook fish? How long is a piece of string? There are so many tried and tested ways for cooking fish, so many different cooking techniques and so many different tastes. Besides all the traditional Western techniques I have had fish cooked in with coals on the beach and fish 1001 ways. The main thing about cooking fish is do not overcook it, it’s a very fine line and turns moist flaky fish into fry and not enjoyable. I am a big fan of uncooked fish such as sashimi and cerviche. Cruising means different types of fish availability, from lean fish such as Snapper and Flounder to oily fish such as Tuna, Mackerel and so on, which are loaded with healthy Omega fatty acids.
I like to deep fry fish even on a yacht. Either oil in a pan or oil in a wok, both work well. The secret is deep frying small pieces of fish, or fish bites as I like to call them. They can be bite sized chunks or small fillets. I love the crispy outer covering. Of course getting the right outer batter right is key. Personally I love making a Tempura batter, light and thin but works so well. I use a vegetable oil such as Canola Oil. Oil has to be fairly hot and it’s a quick process.
Grill your fish under medium heat on lightly greased or oiled aluminum foil. Turn the fish once and baste with butter. Cook fillets 2-3 minutes and small whole fish 3-4 minutes per side, don’t over cook good fish though. The high heat sears the surface of the fish and you can easily overcook it.
Always incise skin to allow heat penetration, and brush with marinade, butter or lemon juice while cooking to prevent drying out. In a restaurant kitchen that I worked in we simply brushed the fish fillets with butter, rubbed in a small amount of minced garlic, a light sprinkle of ground chilli, and then squeezed fresh lemon juice over.
Fish Foil Ideas
Smear a coating of margarine, butter or oil over the foil, and if using whole fish, cut the skin two or three times first to allow juices and flavors to penetrate. Place the foil parcels under the grill for around 5 minutes per side for fillets, or around 10 minutes for whole fish. The following variations are delightful, or experiment yourself. Ingredients always subject to availability and just mix and match whatever you fancy.
Add slices of lemon, black pepper, and chopped parsley if available.
Add 1 tbsp sherry or mirin, and some toasted sesame seeds.
Add slices of tomato, a sprinkle of curry powder and sultanas
Add chopped shallots, soy sauce, minced ginger and some minced garlic.
Add slices of orange, minced garlic and ginger, a dash of soy, squeeze over juice.
Add minced ginger and garlic, a dash of soy and lemon juice and a smear of honey.
Given the need to conserve gas I tend not to use the oven for baking fish. Using the same foil ideas above. Wrap the fish in lightly greased foil, and you can cook whole fish or fillets and steaks. I do not generally open bake and baste fish, it’s a pain when in the galley, stooping and opening the oven and so on, but that is just me. When I do it which is rare I baste the fish in melted butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Place fish in a steamer, sprinkle with fresh herbs, and cover. I prefer to use one of the Chinese bamboo steamers which works well. Turn once during cooking only. Fillets 2-3 minutes per side, small whole fish 4-5 minutes. How to cook fish and how to cook seafood.