Despite all that, a Food Marketing Institute survey found that just over half of Americans eat seafood — including things like canned tuna — twice a month. And when we do eat them, we tend to stick to the old ones: shrimp, salmon, and tuna have topped the list of most popular seafood for years.
It’s time for a radical change. If you want to forge your way to something new, try any soft, white-fleshed fish: tilapia, cod, flounder, halibut, barramundi, and mahi-mahi are all good choices, and durable too, says Casey Corn, FultonFishMarket.com’s culinary ambassador. Fillets also cook faster than steaks or a whole fish.
Then follow two simple rules. Rule number one: get the freshest, highest quality seafood you can buy. Fresh, high-quality fish should smell like the ocean, with moist flesh. It should never smell bad (“fishy”) or look dull. If you are buying whole fish, the eyes should be clear and shiny, not dull or sunken. A reputable fishmonger will be able to guide you in case of doubt. Otherwise, don’t overlook the frozen food section; it’s common for fishing boats to freeze their catch while still at sea, so it’s always good and you can find some bargains. Rule number two: Don’t overcook.
Need more advice? Here are three entry-level fish recipes to get you started.
Baking the parchment fish gently steams the contents and is a surefire way to ensure the protein is moist and not overcooked. Plus, cleaning couldn’t be easier. You can add vegetables – thinly sliced zucchini or zucchini, carrots or green beans – to the packet and have a full meal in 15 minutes.
- Suggested fillets: tilapia, barramundi, plaice, salmon
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 4 fish fillets, 4 ounces
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Parsley to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Squeeze half the lemon and thinly slice the other half. Mix lemon juice with oil, garlic and cheese.
- Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Place each fillet on a square of parchment paper and drizzle with the oil mixture. Fold parchment over each fillet, pinching edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Who doesn’t love tacos? Fish makes them healthier by reducing fat, and it goes great with fresh flavors like lime and cilantro. These make a great family meal, but you can also prepare the fish the same way and use it in a salad or wrap.
- Suggested fillets: mahi-mahi, tuna steak, snapper, halibut, cod
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound skinless fish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
To serve: corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, sliced red cabbage, avocado, lime wedges
- Mix the spices and coat the fish pieces in the seasoning.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 10 or 12 inch skillet and add the fish pieces. Cook until the fish is opaque and the spices have become a crust, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Spread the fish on the warm corn tortillas and add the desired toppings.
Slow Roasted Mediterranean Fish
Hot and fast cooking methods risk overcooking the fish, the only thing that will spoil it for sure. Instead, opt for gentle, slow heat to lock in moisture. It works just as well for fillets or, if you’re a bit more daring, for a whole fish.
- Suggested fillets: barramundi, halibut, salmon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/4 pounds fish fillet
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup olives, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a baking dish large enough to hold your vegetable fillet.
- Season the fillet with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, onions and olives to the tenderloin and pour the remaining oil on top. Sprinkle with oregano.
- Bake until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F, about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.