Methods for cooking fresh fish and seafood
ORLANDO, Fla. — Nothing tops the taste of perfectly prepared seafood or fresh fish, and according to Red Lobster Executive Chef Michael LaDuke, any of the following cooking methods can help home cooks create a seafood masterpiece.
Whatever cooking method you choose for your fish or seafood, Red Lobster Executive Chef Michael LaDuke says the key to preparing great-tasting seafood is to maintain its moisture. While perfectly cooked fish should flake easily, it should not fall apart when you pick it up.
Grilling: Lightly brush a piece of fresh fish or seafood with oil and place it on a hot grill away from the hottest part of the fire. After a few minutes, the fish will release some of its own natural juices and should no longer stick to the grate. Check for color and doneness, and turn the fish over when light grill marks appear (it should only take a few minutes on each side).
Broiling: Broiling, like grilling, uses high temperatures and a direct heat source. Broiling gives you better control of the heat and allows you to use a basting sauce without worrying about it dripping on the coals or gas source of the grill.
Sautéing: A perfect piece of sautéed fish or seafood is golden brown on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper, then dip it in flour, shaking off the excess. In a nonstick pan, add a teaspoon of oil and arrange the fish in a single layer. Turn the fish over when the bottom is nicely browned, and continue cooking until it flakes easily with a fork.
Baking: Baking is an easy way to prepare seafood. Rinse under cold water, pat dry and place in a shallow baking dish, skin side down. You can add flavor with salt, pepper, butter, olive oil or sauce. Bake at 425 degrees for 6–12 minutes per inch of thickness until just barely opaque throughout. Your delicacy will stay moist as long as it isn’t overcooked.
Poaching: Poaching is perfect since it adds moisture but doesn't overpower the flavor. For a quick and easy poached dish, use vegetable or chicken stock in a pan large enough for each piece to lie flat. Pour enough liquid to cover and bring to a simmer (165–180 degrees). Pieces 1 inch thick will take 15–20 minutes.
Steaming: This gentle preparation method is popular in Asian dishes. Season with your favorite spices, then place it in a steamer basket with enough room so each piece lies flat. Check for doneness after 10 minutes.
Red Lobster operates more than 680 restaurants in the United States and Canada. For a restaurant nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or use our restaurant locator.
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