SA TIMES -latest best fish recipe for lockdown,How to guarantee crispy skin and succulent, flaky flesh every time. Plus, our best fish recipes to put your new expert technique to the test, from fragrant vietnamese salmon to pan-fried cod and tamarind-glazed tuna,Thin, white fish, such as tilapia, sole, and haddock, yield equally good results when cooked directly from frozen. Firmer fish and thicker fillets like salmon, halibut and cod also cook well from frozen when properly thawed. Try to avoid purchasing frozen tuna and swordfish, they often end up dry and discoloured
A juicy, perfectly cooked fillet of fish with crisp skin that crackles when cut is a thing of beauty – but one that can be tough to achieve. Follow these simple steps, whatever fish you’re cooking, avoid the potential pitfalls, and you’ll get it right, every time
How to get crispy skin on fish
When moisture is driven away from the skin of the fish it allows the skin to caramelise. The technical name for this is the Maillard reaction: a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that browns and crisps the skin, and tastes delicious.
- Make sure the skin is very dry, pat the skin with kitchen paper to remove all moisture before cooking, as water prevents caramelisation.
- Once the fish is out of the pan, rest or plate it skin-side up – this will ensure any moisture from the fish isn’t re-absorbed into the skin.
- Carefully press down on the fish as soon as it goes into the pan. The heat of the pan will cause the fish to bend away – by gently pushing down will ensure even contact and even crispness.
How to sear fish
This technique cooks the skin quickly until crisp but the heat also pushes through to the delicate flesh. Fish flesh conducts heat easily, making it easy to overcook – it’s better to cook it a touch less than you think it needs and then let it rest and continue cooking out of the pan.
How to avoid fish sticking to the pan
Oiling the fish rather than the pan ensures there is minimum oil between the skin and the base of the pan. The skin will get super-crisp then self-release, helping to avoid sticking – so don’t touch! Let the fish cook undisturbed. Once a crust has formed it will pop away from the bottom of the pan.
Even if you follow all the steps necessary to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan, an old, well-used pan that has lost its non-stick coating will cause fish to stick fast, requiring it to be scraped off.
- Use salmon, cod, hake and more for these recipes