Make Perfectly Cooked Fish Tonight

Fresh fish makes a healthy dinner, so “seas” the day and prepare some tonight. Whether you roast it, broil it, grill it, or bake it, cooking fish is much easier than you think.
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The first rule for cooking fish

The most important thing to know about cooking fish is when to stop. No matter how you're preparing it, cook fresh fish for 10 minutes at most for each inch of thickness. That means a 1/2" thick fillet requires just five minutes of cooking. This video, How to Tell When Fish is Done, will help you recognize when your fish is perfectly cooked.

Simple sautés

Fish fillets like cod, tilapia, and orange roughy are very easy to sauté. Cook them in butter or olive oil, then top them with your favorite salsa or marinara sauce. Watch Techniques for Sauteeing Frozen Alaska Seafood for more information.

Get grilling

Many types of fish and shellfish are wonderful when grilled. If you select a fish that is flaky, place it in a foil tray so it doesn't fall apart while cooking. Here’s a great way to grill tuna steaks:

  • Brush both sides of fresh tuna steaks with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub on a bit of garlic and your favorite herbs. (Rosemary and dill are both great choices.)
  • Place the tuna on a greased grill rack or in a grill basket and cook over medium-hot coals until the tuna flakes easily with a fork. Allow four to six minutes per 1/2" of thickness. Turn once if the tuna is thicker than 1".

Get more tips, tricks and ideas from this Grilling demonstration.

Don't toil — quick broil

Using the broiler is a quick and delicious way to prepare fish.

  • Try broiling a fillet for two minutes, then turning it, topping with a mixture of sour cream and mustard, and broiling for two to three more minutes until the topping glazes.
  • Or, add seasonings such as parsley and thyme to butter, then slowly pour in a bit of lemon juice. Spread half of the butter mixture over the fish and broil three minutes. Turn and spread the rest of the mixture on the other side of the fish and broil three to five more minutes.

Fast marinades

Fish marinating time should be brief or it gets mushy. Check out these Seasoning Seafood: Rubs and Marinades, and try some of these ideas:

  • For an easy marinade, mix extra-virgin olive oil with an acidic ingredient like chopped tomatoes, red-wine vinegar, or lemon juice. Add salt and pepper and your favorite seasoning. Try spicy jalapeño peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh thyme, or parsley.
  • Many spices and marinades are made specifically to bring out the flavor of seafood. Look in the spice and marinade aisles for easy, ready-to-use items. Then, season fish prior to grilling, baking, or broiling.
  • Marinate fillets like tilapia for only 30 minutes, and steaks like tuna or salmon for one hour. After marinating, grill or broil until the flesh of the fish flakes with a fork.

Cheesy baked fish

A cheese topping can make finicky fish-eaters finish their dinner.

  • Combine shredded cheese with a little salt, pepper, and paprika, and then sprinkle the topping over mild, white fish fillets in a greased baking pan. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit until the fish flakes with a fork.
  • For a subtle cheese flavor, mix shredded Parmesan cheese with seasoned bread crumbs. Brush the fish fillets with diluted milk, then coat them with the cheese and bread crumb mixture. Bake in a greased pan at 350° Fahrenheit.

Nutty crusted fish

A thick, center-cut cod loin or other mild fish encrusted with a nutty coating is sure to be a winner with the whole family. View Seasoning Seafood: Encrusting and Glazing for more ideas.

  • Grind 1/2 cup of your favorite nuts in a food processor. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and press the nuts onto one side of the fish. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit in a greased pan until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Or, sauté the fish in oil, starting with the nut side up, for about four minutes. Turn the fish in the pan and cook until the nuts start to toast.

Note: For tips on selecting fish, as well as nutritional information, read How to Select Fresh Seafood. And, if you've got questions, Giant Eagle seafood experts are always here to help.