How to Get the Best Results from Baked Fish Recipes
Tips for baked fish
Fish contains natural fish oils so you do not need to add fat or oil before baking if you do not want to. There are plenty of baked tilapia recipes, for example, which call for thinly sliced vegetables or seasoned breadcrumbs on top of the fish, to keep it juicy throughout cooking. Another tip is to brush a small amount of butter or oil on top of the fish before baking it.
The general rule with fish baking is to bake the fish for 10 minutes for every inch of its thickness. 450F is a suitable temperature for most baked fish recipes. Unless the fish is an inch or less thick, you should turn it half way through the cooking time.
Cooking times also vary depending on the density of the fish. While cooking fish, tuck any thin ends underneath so it cooks evenly. The fish is done when it is opaque all the way through, when it is 145F in the center, or when you can easily flake the flesh at its thickest point with a fork.
To stop fish sticking to the baking dish, you can place it on a bed of onions, celery, or both. This makes the fish stay in one piece when removing it from the baking dish and gives it some extra flavor.
HOW TO GRILL FISH
Tips for Grilling Fish
Grilled fish steaks are a wonderful choice for entertaining because you can grill them to your guests’ individual preferences. Follow the tips below, and the steaks will look gorgeous, too.
Begin with a clean, well-oiled grill, and let it heat up. A major culprit behind sticking fish is the debris left on the grates. Clean and oil the grill for best results. Hot grates keep fish from sticking by causing the proteins in the fish to contract and release, so be sure your grates are thoroughly heated before you start to grill.
Don’t move the steaks for the first few minutes of cooking. You need to give the side that’s facing down time to cook (and contract) before turning the fish. Use tongs and a spatula to move the fish steaks.
Tongs work really well for turning sturdy fish steaks, but sometimes a little unseen debris on the grill rack will cause the fish to stick. If this happens, slide a thin spatula underneath the stubborn spot to release it.
Cut into the fish to check for doneness. Once you’ve grilled a lot of fish steaks, you’ll know by feel when they’re done to your liking. If you’re not there yet, cut into the side of the fish with a paring knife to see what’s going on inside. (Poke it with your finger, too, so you learn what different donenesses feel like—the harder the flesh, the more done it is.)
Grilling time depends on the thickness of fish…give 10 minutes for every inch of its thickness…5 minutes for one side and more 5 minutes for other side…