Fish and shellfish are so versatile - there are so many delicious ways to cook and prepare them. Our handy guide below provides advice and tips on the best ways prepare and cook fish and shellfish.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering eating more fish and shellfish - so now it’s time to help you increase your repertoire.
Whether you’re new to preparing fish and shellfish, or a more seasoned cook, sometimes we all lack the time or inspiration to think about different ways to prepare them. It’s human nature to stick to a good method or recipe once we discover it.
Fish and shellfish cooking is super-quick which means the loss of nutrients - like healthy omega-3 fats - during the process is minimised. This maximises the health benefits and also makes it a wonderfully convenient meal option.
Some preparation methods don’t even require “cooking” in the traditional sense: Ceviche - the national dish of Peru - is simply fresh fish marinated in citrus juices for a very short time before serving. This means you can have a nutritious tasty fish dish on the table in a matter of minutes.
When cooking certain types of fish, it's worth considering:
Thickness: one of the main things to consider is the size of the cut of fish – you can buy both prepared fillet portions and whole fillets from Nutritious Fish. Dry cooking methods like roasting, grilling, and baking are better for thicker cuts of fish, oily fish and whole fish.
Natural flavour: we believe some of the best ways to prepare fish are those that retain as much of the natural flavour – and nutrients – as possible. This is great if you lack time or cooking experience, as fish cookery can be very quick and simple. Certain fish and shellfish have a light natural flavour and some a stronger flavour – you really want to be choosing a method that complements this, rather than overwhelms it.
Fat content: leaner types of fish dry out more easily, which makes them better suited for wet cooking methods like steaming and poaching. More oily fish have a higher fat content and are ideal for grilling and roasting – and who doesn’t like crispy fish skin!
Skin off/on: talking of fish skin, whether you’re choosing to leave it on, or take it off, this can affect how you cook the fish. More delicate fish certainly benefit from being cooked skin-on as it prevents them falling apart. And sometimes it’s much easier to discard the skin after cooking than before – although removing the skin is quite easy - see below.
Fish cookery methods
Fish cookery timings
All the timings in the table below are in minutes and are a guideline as the thickness of fish and cooking appliance vary....
Fish & shellfish preparation techniques
Use these handy videos and chef's guides to hone your prep techniques...