Have you ever been put off from buying fish because you’re not sure how to prepare it? Take a look at these five healthy cooking methods to bring out the best flavours of different types of fish and seafood.
Why should we eat fish?
Fish is high in protein as well as being low in saturated fat, making a great alternative to meat. It also contains many nutrients that are great for us such as vitamin D, selenium and potassium.
It is recommended that we eat at least two portions of fish a week, of which at least one should be oily. Oily fish contains healthy omega-3 fats which are a type of polyunsaturated fat shown to help prevent heart disease.
Oily fish, including salmon, trout, swordfish and tuna, tend to have a strong flavour and meaty texture which makes them perfect for grilling.
Oily fish is pungent when cooked, so marinating with garlic, pepper, lemon, lime, dill or oregano can help. Avoid using oil and butter as this adds fat.
Fish only takes a few minutes per side to cook, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on it.
> Try this Cajun salmon with spicy tomato pasta for a tasty meal
This gentle cooking method is perfect for white fish. White fish tends to be more delicate and includes cod, pollock, halibut, haddock, sole and tilapia.
Poaching keeps fish moist and won’t mask the delicate flavour of the fish.
Use water, milk or stock, then experiment with herbs (dill, oregano, parsley), fruit and veg (tomatoes, peppers, lemons), or seasoning (garlic, curry powder, black pepper).
> This Kedgeree is delicious hot or cold
Baking fish in a foil parcel helps to keep it tender and moist, which works well for both oily fish and white fish.
Before baking, you can add vegetables and fruit such as tomatoes, peppers or onions, as well as parboiled potatoes to make a more substantial meal.
There’s no need to add oil as baking the fish in the parcel will keep it from drying out.
> Try this fish with courgette and pepper ratatouille or citrus salmon parcels.
Steaming is another gentle way to cook oily or white fish.
Marinating the fish with spices, herbs, spring onion, ginger, lemon, garlic and chilli will add flavour while it cooks, and adding some vegetables under the fish will prevent it from sticking to the plate.
After steaming, you can use the juices as a sauce for your dish.
Shellfish includes prawns, shrimps, clams and mussels.
These cook quickly and hold their shape well, so are perfect for using in a stir-fry.
Adding thinly sliced vegetables such as carrots, asparagus and baby corn adds a satisfying crunch and means that your meal can be ready in minutes.
> Try this prawn and ginger stir-fry for a quick mid-week meal
Pictured recipe: Homemade fishcakes