9 Common Fish Cooking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

9 Common Fish Cooking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Did you know eating fish can help you feel fuller longer? If you want to learn some tips on cooking fish for dinner, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to prevent undercooked and overcooked fish. Once you learn these fish cooking mistakes, you will have an easier time cooking delicious meals.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

1. You Didn’t Cook the Fish With Skin Properly

One side will cook longer than the other side. You should cook the fish skin-side down because the thicker skin will protect the flesh.

Also, you’ll get a nice crispy exterior. If you don’t like the skin, you could peel it after you finish cooking.

Don’t flip it more than once. This way, you can prevent it from falling apart or overcooking. Fish tends to continue cooking once you remove it from the heat. You should look at removing it from the pan before it is overcooked, which brings us to our next point:

2. Don’t Overcook the Fish

Fish doesn’t have a lot of fat or connective tissue, resulting in delicate meat to cook. The fish will cook fast, but you could end up quickly overcooking it if you aren’t careful.

To figure out the cooking time, determine the thickness of the fish. Try cooking the fish for 10 minutes per inch and at medium heat.

You should check the fish at the minimum cooking mark. To determine if it’s done or not, poke a fork through the thickest part of the fish and pull a piece out.

The fish will appear a bit flaky and opaque if it’s done well. If it’s not flaky and appears translucent, you should continue cooking.

If you aren’t sure, try a meat thermometer. It should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Don’t Over Season Your Fish

Fish can also become quickly over seasoned because it’s delicate. You shouldn’t use strong sauces, spices, or seasonings. Try a minimalist approach. Use lemon, a dash of fresh herbs, and olive oil or butter.

Do you prefer to marinate your fish? Make sure you don’t let it marinate too long. 30 minutes is the appropriate time. Otherwise, it will turn into mush.

4. Fish Often Sticks to the Grill

Do you prefer to grill your fish? You should take care when grilling the fish. It tends to stick to the grill and will fall apart. Yet, you can avoid this problem in a few different ways.

Try shopping for smaller fillets. They are a lot easier to grill compared to large ones, which will fall apart.

Before you put the fish on the grill, apply a light coating of olive oil. Make sure you lift and move the fish every so often. This way, it won’t get stuck in one spot.

When you notice the edges have become opaque and flaky, flip the fish so you can quickly grill the other side. Don’t flip your fish again.

Some people will use a fish grill basket or put their fish in tin foil.

5. Using Poor Quality Fish

Another important step when cooking fish is starting with high-quality fish. Ask a local chef about how to choose the best kind of fish.

Fish shouldn’t have cloudy eyes. They should smell fresh like the ocean, but not super fishy. Also, if you press the fish, it should feel firm.

Do you want to try cooking different kinds of fish like maguro, for example? Learn more info here.

6. Preparing the Fish on a Wet Surface

Another cooking solution is to prepare your fish on a dry surface. You can dry the fish with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.

You should let the fish sit on a plate for 30 minutes, uncovered. This way, it will dry out some more, and you’ll have a crispier exterior.

7. You Added the Seasoning Too Early

Did you know salt tends to pull moisture from seafood? To get the best texture and flavor, you should wait until the fish has cooked around 80 percent. Then, you could start adding salt and seasoning.

8. You Chose a Low Heat

Are you using a grill or skillet? Make sure you watch the temperature. The temperature should be hot before you add the fish to the pan or grill. Try to choose either a high or medium-high heat. It shouldn’t be smoking.

You can preheat the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil for three minutes. Then, you can add the fish.

You will have a better sear and an easier time flipping the fish. Seafood will stick to a pan because it’s cold or too much water in the flesh.

9. You Keep Flipping the Fish

Beginner cooks think they need to flip their fish fillet more than once or twice. If you’re making a shrimp stir fry, then feel free to keep flipping the fish.

Yet, if you’re cooking any other kind of fish, try to flip it only once or twice. Otherwise, the fish will have a tough texture.

The fish will also break apart. If the fish is dry and the pan’s hot enough, you can cook it and flip it one single time before serving.

You Can Avoid These Fish Cooking Mistakes Now

We hope this guide on cooking fish was helpful. Avoid these common fish cooking mistakes. Make sure you don’t flip the fish too often.

Don’t add salt to the fish too soon. Make sure you work on a dry surface when preparing the fish.

Are you looking for more cooking tips so you can become a better cook? Check out our different articles on the blog.

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