Fish – Cooking Tips

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Seafood is delicious, nutritious and versatile. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your HCG seafood meals.

Fish

Purchasing the right fish

You will be looking for fresh, white fish – which means it is ‘lean’, containing about 1% to 5% fat. Select a fish with bright, clear, and protruding eyes rather than dull, hazy, sunken ones. The skin should be moist and shiny, the gills red or pink, and the flesh firm and elastic. Fresh fish has a slightly ocean-like, mild odor. If there is a distinct fishy, sour smell, do not buy it. Ask your fishmonger to fillet it for you. Take the head and skeleton home so you can make Fish Stock. See Stock

Ideal varieties to choose from are Yellowtail, Sea Trout (click each one for picture), Whiting, Orange Roughy, Red Snapper, Sea Bass, Sole, Pomfret, Cod, Haddock, John Dory, Flounder, Halibut, Turbot.

Shell fish such as Crab and Lobster are difficult to weigh raw. You may want to purchase canned Crab in spring water (not oil of course).

As you cannot ‘fry’ using oil or butter, Skinny World recommends the following cooking methods:

‘Dry’ Frying

In a Teflon double-pan on very low heat add just a couple of tablespoons of water. Add your fish, close the lid and in a few minutes there’ll be a delicious meal waiting for you.

As you will only have 100g of fish per meal portion, cooking should take no more than 3 to 4 minutes if the fillet is in strips and a little longer if it is whole.

Poaching

To poach fish you need to use enough water to cover the fish. Cook slowly in barely simmering water (not boiling as this will cause the fish to break up).

As you will only have 100g of fish per meal portion, cooking should take no more than 3 to 4 minutes if the fillet is in strips and a little longer if it is whole.

Baking or En Papillote

A fish cooked ‘en papillote’ is wrapped in parchment paper, and baked in a medium oven (200ºC 400ºF) so that it gently steams in its own juices. Aromatics, such as dill, fennel, sliced onions, coriander, lemon grass, chili and pepper grains as well as ‘soy’ (Braggs Liquid Amminos – which is wheatless) can also be enclosed in the package to flavor the fish. Don’t forget a lemon or lime slice and generous squeeze of juice.

If you substitute aluminum foil for the paper, depending on the quality of the foil you may need to avoid using lemon, lime or tomato because their acidity can react with the foil causing an unpleasant taste.

Steaming

Add about 5 cm (2 inches) of boiling water to a pot, then fit a bamboo steamer over, making sure it doesn't come into contact with the water, and cover with the tight-fitting lid.

Your 100g fish will take about 5 to 6 minutes to cook.

Using the above cooking methods, try the following combinations:

1. French Classic – Parsley, Lemon S&P

2. Mediterranean – Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Lemon S&P

3. Oriental – Spinach (or Bok Choy), Shallot (or Scallion) Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, ‘soy’, S&P

4. Turmeric, Cardamom, Dill, S&P

5. Thai Fusion – Orange, Coriander, Ginger, Lemongrass

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