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Guide To Cooking Fresh Fish

Fish is an excellent food that if cooked the right way, soon becomes a favorite menu item.

Fresh Salmon Steaks

Fresh Salmon Steaks

Tips For Buying

Approximate Number of Servings per Pound

How To Prepare For Cooking

How to Scale: Hold the tail firmly and with a dull knife or scaler held at a 45° angle, loosen scales by pushing the knife against the skin from tail to head. It is best to do this under running water so that scales won’t scatter.

How to Clean: Use a thin sharp knife or kitchen shears. Slit skin from vent to gills. Remove viscera and wash in running water to clean thoroughly. Remove head by cutting across base of gills. Cut off tail. Remove fins by cutting the flesh along both sides of the fins. Pull fin quickly towards head to remove root bones. Salt lightly and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

How to Fillet: Cut through flesh along the center of the back from the tail to head, then cut across just below head. Turn knife flat and starting at the head, cut flesh to the tail, easing the knife over the rib bones. Remove the fillet. Turn fish over and do other side.

How to Skin: Place the fish, skin-side down, on the cutting board. Hold the tail end firmly with one hand and cut skin from the flesh with quick short strokes. A fresh fish is skinned easily.

How to Bone: Continue beyond the slit made when cleaning the fish from vent to tail. Cut across from the slit to the back. Hold the tail and insert the sharp edge of knife flatly between tail and back bone. Press the knife towards the head, butting the flesh from the ribs and backbone. Turn and cut bone from other side. Life out bones, removing any flesh adhering to them.

How To Cook

Cooking Fresh Trout

Preparing To Cook Fresh Trout On Cast Iron Griddle

Cook fish quickly at high temperature–except where milk or cream are used in the baking sauce. The flesh of fish contains little connective tissue and therefore does not require a long cooking period.

Tips To Remember:

Cooking time is based on thickness of fish. Measure thickness at the thickest part of fish before cooking. Recommended time for baking, broiling, panfrying, boiling and steaming is:

How to Bake: For whole fish, steaks or fillets

How to Broil: For steaks, fillets or small whole fish

How to Panfry: For fish steaks, fillets and small whole fish

How to Deep Fry: For fillets, smelts, fish cakes and some shellfish

How to Boil: For whole fish, fillets or steak

How to Steam: For whole fish, fillets or steaks

How to Oven Steam: For whole fish, fillets or steaks

How to Poach in Milk: Especially good for smoked fish fillets

More Tips:

Note: The cooking times in this article are based on cooking fish 10 minutes per 1″ thickness of fish (measured at the thickest part). This is the total cooking time, not per side. The 10 minute guideline can fluctuate a bit (depending on source of heat, type of pan, how fresh the fish is, etc.). Start watching the fish at about 8 minutes, if it’s done before the 10 minutes are up, remove the fish from heat source since you don’t want to overcook it (or leave a minute or two longer if it’s undercooked).

Source: Much of the information is from “A Guide To Good Cooking – Five Roses Flour” (1960)