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need help in learning about how to make fish?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have never made fish before, and I want to start eating better but I have been to afraid to make fish because I don't know how. I don't know what kind of fish would be the best for my first time? I need some help can anyone direct me in the right direction of what to do?
post #2 of 19
Fish come in a variety of flavors and textures, and strength of fishyness.

My recommendation, for the first time, would be tilapia. It's a firm, white-fleshed fish, with little fishyness about it. As such, it's been called the ideal fish for the American palette, because it's not fishy, but supports a wide range of other flavors.

When choosing fresh fish, it should be firm, with no smell of fish. Instead you're looking for a clean smell. Whole fish should not appear slimy, should be firm to the touch, and the eyes should be bright.

Do not shy away from modern flash-frozen fish. It actually can be the best choice for anyone not living right near the coast. The modern way is for the fish to be caught, immediately cleaned, and flash frozen right on the boat. So it's actually fresher, often, than "fresh" fish.

For best results, frozen fish should be defrosted slowely in the fridge, overnight, rather than rushed with techniques like putting it in cold water.

No matter how you choose to cook it, the general rule of thumb is tocook fish ten minutes per inch of thickness, and it's thickest point.

Not knowing your taste preferences, I hesitate to provide recipes or suggest cooking methods. But, in general, pan-frying or baking appeals to the widest number of people. Or you can bread the filets and deep fry them. Deep frying, when done correctly, is not unhealthy.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 19
ahh man I wanted to do a real wise butt comment.

liek you can not make fish only mommy and daddy fish can.
now jokes aside.

my favorite way to cook fish is poaching. take some stock. Chicken works realyl well.put the stock and seasonings, herbs veggies or whatever flavors you want in there. add stock so its like 2/3 the way up. cover with parchement paper but rip a small whole. a few minutes in flip it and then its done once you feel the segments seperate
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
cute joke! and thanks for the advice I'll try it.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
thank you kyheirloomer for the great advice I really appreciate it.
post #6 of 19

Recipe for fish

You can buy fish fillet or you can choose the fish (for the first time, my choice is snapper, because it has firm and thick flesh. Easier for newbie to slice it) and ask the fish monger to fillet it.

Here is my Indonesian cooking recipe:
Non Spicy Herby:
300 g fish fillet (firm flesh)

50 g Maizena
1 tsp baking powder

2 cm thick of ginger (to cover the fishy smell), grated
2 tablespoon (tbs) of dry sherry
salt & ground pepper as you like

For Sauce
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
2 stalks of spring onion (julienne, cut in stripes)
1 red deseeded chili - julienne
1 tbs Light Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon (tsp) of granulated sugar or honey
salt & pepper as you like
2 tbs cooking oil
5 tbs water (or use water on the steamer)

1. Slice the fillet at 1,5 cm thickness (if you cut diagonally across the flesh, it will tastier when you cook) and spread it on the platter.

2. Sprinkle the marinate ingredients, refrigerate for 1/2 hours, clean the ginger with damp cloth, then cover every slice with mixed powder.

3. Heat steamer and steam for about 10 minutes, take out from steamer and then cool it down for about 5 minutes. Arrange on a platter. (You can put a base on it. For me, I use iceberg letuce, slice thinly, spread on the platter.

4. Heat thick base small pan (high heat), add oil, put in garlic until almost fragrance, add in the chili. After 1/2 minutes, pour in the marinates liquid, soy sauce, sugar/ honey, salt & pepper. Then add water, simmer for about 1 minute, turn off the heat. Pour in the sauce over the fish on the platter. Spinkle with julienne spring onion.

5. Ready to serve (hot is better).

I hope this recipe can help you a bit. It is very delicious and it can be serve on a hot summer (cold dishes) or in winter as hot dishes.

Good luck to you.
post #7 of 19
Fishy smell? I've always understood fresh fish not to smell "fishy." How fresh is your fish?

post #8 of 19
As far as I could determine, Maizena is a brand name that covers a number of ingredients. What is the ingredient in this case? Also, your recipe doesn't describe what should be done with the ingredient - at least I couldn't find it.

So, what's the actual ingredient and how is it used in the recipe?

post #9 of 19

Chinese Steamed Fish

Believe it or not, you can actually achieve a lot with this simple and tasty Asian Chinese steamed fish. It's healthy and very easy to prepare.

Chinese Steamed Fish

1 white pomfret (or any fish of your choice)
1 medium size onion - sliced
2 red chillies - thinly sliced
2 tbs oil
1 tbs shredded ginger
1 stalk spring onion (cut into 2 cm strips)
light soy sauce and salt

How to make Chinese Steamed Fish:

Clean fish
Make three diagonal strips on fish
Rub a bit of salt and place in a metal plate
Fry sliced onions in 2 tbs oil until soft
When done, spread over fish
Garnish with ginger slices, spring onions and chilli slices
Dash a little light soy sauce over garnishing
Steam fish until cooked and tender
Serve hot with sauce made from remaining chilli slices in soy sauce

TIP: You can also steam fish using the microwave. Simply place fish in a microwave safe dish with cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remember to add about 1/3 cup water before you start. This method won't taste as good (not so tender) as the steaming method but it will save you time.

You can get more recipes from my website: Free Asian Recipes, Asian Recipe, Asian Cooking, Asian Food, Chinese Recipes, Indian Recipes, etc.

Good luck!!
post #10 of 19


CATFISH IS SO YUMMY and a easy fish to BAKE, Poach,FRY
A no-fail way to cook fish is to make some rice( I do This all the Time)I put oil in a pan heat it up, throw in some onions, saute for five minutes med high heat.add some garlic and 1 cup of rice,salt and pepper, stir in, and cook for 5 minutes add water 2 1/4 cups turn down your fire to a simmer put your fish on top of the rice and cover untill the dish is done should take 18 to 20 minutes.main coarse and side dish in one pot.Serve with asparagus.its yummy too.:crazy:
post #11 of 19
We darn near live on flash-frozen cod and tilapia we get at Sam's or BJ's. Shake a little jarred spice mix on it, throw it in a 350 oven for 20 minutes or so, and back it up with a tray of tater tots. (Substitute something healthier for tater tots at your discretion.)
post #12 of 19
Hey neat idea! Gonna try that next time we get some decent fish.

Could the water be replaced with part White wine and part chicken stock do you think?
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #13 of 19
Thanks for the comments.
In Indonesia we have several kind of fish. Some of them are mud fish (which is more fishy smell then fish that was catched in the sea), ocean fish, fresh water fish and pond fish.

E.g: Milk fish are farming from mud pond close to the ocean and it has strong fish smell and can only be eliminate the smell by some stronger flavor ingredients such as ginger or ground white pepper or sesame seeds oil.

Snapper or tuna are ocean fish which has no fishy smell and great in taste. :)
post #14 of 19
Yes, you are right. But in my experience during the cooking class, some participants sometimes says it was smells, but for some people who used to eat fresh fish, it has no smell at all. In Indonesia, we can have fresh fish at any time (live seafood) and has no smell at all. Thanks for the comments.
post #15 of 19
Pls apologize for mising some method. In Indonesia Maizena (a brand name) is the common name for corn flour.

I forgot to say that this mixing should be add into the fish before it goes to steamer.

Hoep this will celar the cooking stages. Enjoy the recipe.
post #16 of 19
Here on East Coast milkfish doesn't smell muddy at all but I like to use agressive seasoning anyway. I wonder, since its your native fish in Indonesia, is there any trick like crosscut or slicing to avoid that freaky bone pattern and make it easier to eat when cooked whole?

post #17 of 19
Thanks for your responses. The recipe looks like something I'd like to try.

post #18 of 19
Poahed halibut with vermouth and star anise.

Sweat off some chopped shallot in butter and add a star anise, add a splosh of vermouth and reduce by half. Add some chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer. Add halibut steak, season with salt no pepper, cover and poach for a couple of mins, turn fish for a couple more mins then remove fish and keep warm. Reduce liquor by half add a splosh of cream and bubble for a couple more mins. Serve with pomme puree and french beans. Yum!
post #19 of 19
A first-timer with fish often has a problem withthe bones. I've found it's either the fear of swallowing one, or the nuisance factor of picking them out. So Fillets would be a good plaice :lol: to start Sorry. Simply dust in flour with a little salt and lots of black pepper pat it off mostly and pan fry in oil. Medium heat.
Moving on, Best way to get used to bones is steaks. Cuts of salmon and mackerel, cod can be cooked as before lots of flesh and you can see exactly where the bones are and cut them away.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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