Fish can be an excellent source of lean protein, and studies suggest eating seafood actually helps improve brain function, but I have never really been comfortable cooking it. So I spent some time looking for a simple, week night friendly ways to cook fish and here are five of my favorites.
Baking in Parchment
By folding your fish into a parchment parcel and then baking it, you’ll seal in all its delicious juices, almost guaranteeing moist and delicious results. Don’t be put off if you’ve only had this dish in a flashy restaurant. It’s a super-simple technique, and since packets can be assembled a few hours before baking, it fits into almost any dinner schedule.
I like recipes where thinly sliced veggies bake right inside with the fish, like in this Baked Fish Packets with Broccoli and Squash that you can make using almost any fillet.
Give burger night a makeover by trying a lean and delicious seafood burger. Ready-to-cook patties are available at most seafood counters, or you can easily make your own from just about any firm, flavorful fillet: Tuna, salmon, and halibut are popular choices. Fish burgers cook in a matter of minutes on the stove-top or grill, so they’re ideal for weeknights.
These Salmon Burgers with Blue Cheese Veggie Slaw are one of my favorite for a super-quick, totally yummy dinner.
I’m a big fan of steaming vegetables and now I’m a fan of steaming fish: It’s quick, requires absolutely no added fat and is ideal for delicate fish that can easily overcook in the dry heat of the oven.
This recipe for Lemongrass Steamed Barramundi infuses lemongrass right into the steaming water, a great technique for adding extra flavor to mild fish varieties — and the aroma is heavenly!
Poaching and Braising
Like steaming, poaching and braising are terrific ways to make sure even the leanest fish comes out deliciously moist and succulent. Simmered directly in an aromatic liquid, your fish will be absorbing both moisture and flavor.
Dry white wine is a great ingredient for poaching fish; it features in this delicious Poached Halibut with Ginger and Cilantro that you can serve either hot or chilled. Also terrific is Spicy Coconut Braised Black Cod with Colorful Vegetables; it’s packed with elegant Southeast Asian flavors, and using reduced fat coconut milk is a better choice.
And don’t forget ceviche when you’re looking for new ways to serve fish. Allowing chunks of seafood to “cook” in an acid (usually lime juice) results in remarkably fresh, pure flavor. This Peruvian Ceviche is a classic, and the recipe works beautifully with almost any fillet, and if you’d rather not use raw fish, this Salmon Ceviche uses pre-cooked fish.
Just a note to finish – remember to think about the health of our oceans too; choose responsibly caught or farmed species and be open-minded about trying new types if they’re a more environmentally friendly choice.