The delicate nature of proteins like fish and seafood require extra care and attention during the cooking process. While the same techniques used for cooking red meat and poultry can be applied to fish and seafood, there is a need to watch out for factors like cooking temperature and cooking time. Unlike beef and chicken, seafood has much softer muscles and weaker connective tissues, as such, there is a higher chance of overcooking them and ruining their flavours as well as textures.
Preparing fish and seafood can sometimes be daunting, especially if you do not know the best way to do them. But fret not. We’re here to help you discover the cooking techniques you can try at home with fish and shellfish.
Preparing Your Seafood To Perfection
Before we dive into some of our favourite cooking methods for fish and shellfish, here’s how to tell whether or not they are cooked – fish is ready when their meat turns into an opaque white, and you can flake it easily with a fork. Shrimp and shellfish are usually done when they turn opaque in colour.
Fish can be served raw like sushi, sashimi, or tartare. You can also prep and serve it as ceviche, a method in which citric acid breaks down the proteins within the seafood to “cook it”. There are also other methods like salting, curing and drying the fish. On the other hand, most shellfish, except oysters and abalone.
Here are some ways shellfish and fish can be cooked deliciously:
Grilling is one of the easiest ways of cooking fish and other kinds of seafood. The heat and oil from your pan or skillet make your fish and shellfish smoky. When seared skin-side down, your fish will also have a crisp texture. A fish you can consider for grilling includes sea bass fillet.
To ensure crisp skin and supple flesh underneath, you can first preheat the grill to medium-high heat. While waiting, you season your sea bass fillets, drizzle over some olive oil and add it to a baking tray. For a bit of extra flavour, you can try adding thyme leaves, lemon zest, or any herbs of your choice. Once done, place the fillets under the grill, with the skin-side up. Cook it for four minutes or at least until the skin is crispy and the flesh is cooked through – you will notice the flesh turning a milky, opaque colour when cooked.
Pan-seared fish fillets are also a popular dish. It is done by cooking each side of the fish at a high temperature until it forms a brown crust. The cooking is often finished by placing the fish into the oven to cook the insides thoroughly. While pan-seared fish steaks like salmon and sea bass fillets are popular, there are other seafood options like scallops that you can pan-sear.
Sauteeing seafood is a popular cooking method. Simply add oil or butter before sauteing some onions, garlic, and herbs to get the aromatics out before adding your seafood of choice. Not only is this cooking method simple, but it is a great way to add lots of flavour to your dish. Sauteed mussels, prawns, and fish are rather popular seafood choices.
As a traditional cooking method for clams and mussels, steaming easily adds delicate flavours to your food without overcooking it. Simply add your seafood to a lidded pot or pan with a little liquid like wine or broth. Cover it and bring to a simmer until the shells open. Aside from clams and mussels, you can also steam fish or crayfish.
Shopping For Fresh Ingredients
No matter the cooking technique you choose or your skills, a dish will still not taste as good if you do not use fresh ingredients.
For instance, good and fresh fish fillets should be shiny and bright instead of grey or dry-looking. If the scales are still on the fillet, ensure they look nice and moist before purchasing. Often, frozen seafood can be fresher than fresh ones. But don’t be complacent in picking your frozen seafood. It is best to ensure that the packaging is tightly shrink-wrapped or vacuum-packed and secure. Avoid purchasing frozen fish with heavy ice crystals as it is a sign that air is getting in.
Here at All Big Frozen Food, we offer a wide array of frozen seafood like salmon fillets, prawns, sea bass, and more. Our frozen seafood range is packed into vacuum-sealed packaging to ensure its freshness is delivered to your doorstep. Visit our online store here to buy or order fresh seafood in Singapore!