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  • Baking Fish Help Please

    I have been thinking about baking a fish (I have never done this before). Do you have any good recipes or tips for me?

    How long does it take to defrost a frozen fish?

    How long does a fish need to bake for? and on what temp?

    thanks

    My blog
    http://www.lisaopolis.com/

  • #2
    Defrost frozen fish in the refrigerator, overnight or up to a day before.

    It's very difficult to give you time and temperature for baking "fish". There are so many kinds of fish, each with different characteristics, and thus call for different cooking methods.

    Thin, delicate, lean white fish (talapia, flounder, trout) probably shouldn't be baked. Baking is a dry convective cooking process where hot air moves around the product, evaporating moisture and drying the item out. If you really want to prepare a fish filet in the oven, add moisture to the pan. Perhaps some tomato sauce, or jarred salsa with the fish baked in it. Now, you've added moisture to the process.

    Steaming is the best method for lean, delicate items. Steaming is a moist, convective cooking method where hot moisture cooks the food like the hot air in your oven, and is quite simple. A small amount of softly simmering (not boiling) water with your piece of fish suspended above the liquid on a rack or steamer basket.

    Saute is a direct source, conductive cooking method. Heat a saute pan until droplets of water evaporate immediately. You now know the pan is 212f or 110c. Fish proteins coagulate (cook) at 165f, so you know the pan is hot enough. A SMALL amount of fat (olive oil, butter, bacon fat) in the pan, and heat the fat until it begins a convective process. It will go from being perfectly smooth to getting ripples. This is an indicator that it's about to smoke. Put your fish filets in the pan, cook 75% on one side, watching the coagulation of proteins as the fish goes from grey to white. When this happens 75% of the way up the side of the fish, it's time to turn it over. Finish on the second side, remove to a plate. Then, you can saute vegetables in the pan drippings, use a liquid like white wine to deglaze the pan and release those drippings for your sauce. Saute gives you nice caramelization of sugars, the brown color for great plate appeal that steaming doesn't.

    Larger, fattier fish like swordfish, tuna, salmon can be baked because of the heavier texture and thicker steaks they are usually sold as. However, I prefer to grill this type of fish.

    With all these cooking methods, the ONLY way to tell when something is done is with an instant read thermometer. 160F is your final temperature. Let the fish rest 5 minutes.

    So, forget searching for recipes, forget cooking by a clock and your oven's temperature. Use basic cooking methods and you can write your own recipes.

    S
    Chef Todd Mohr
    http://www.WebCookingClasses.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Liketobake View Post
      I have been thinking about baking a fish (I have never done this before). Do you have any good recipes or tips for me?

      How long does it take to defrost a frozen fish?

      How long does a fish need to bake for? and on what temp?

      thanks



      Are you baking a whole fish?
      ~BDH.

      I am the King of Kitchen Toys!!!!!! http://www.cookingforums.net/core/im...ilies/wink.png

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Big Daddy's House View Post
        Are you baking a whole fish?
        I haven't decided if I am going to bake a whole fish or fillets yet. I was thinking of a whole salmon baked or cod.
        My blog
        http://www.lisaopolis.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChefToddMohr View Post
          Defrost frozen fish in the refrigerator, overnight or up to a day before.

          It's very difficult to give you time and temperature for baking "fish". There are so many kinds of fish, each with different characteristics, and thus call for different cooking methods.

          Thin, delicate, lean white fish (talapia, flounder, trout) probably shouldn't be baked. Baking is a dry convective cooking process where hot air moves around the product, evaporating moisture and drying the item out. If you really want to prepare a fish filet in the oven, add moisture to the pan. Perhaps some tomato sauce, or jarred salsa with the fish baked in it. Now, you've added moisture to the process.

          Steaming is the best method for lean, delicate items. Steaming is a moist, convective cooking method where hot moisture cooks the food like the hot air in your oven, and is quite simple. A small amount of softly simmering (not boiling) water with your piece of fish suspended above the liquid on a rack or steamer basket.

          Saute is a direct source, conductive cooking method. Heat a saute pan until droplets of water evaporate immediately. You now know the pan is 212f or 110c. Fish proteins coagulate (cook) at 165f, so you know the pan is hot enough. A SMALL amount of fat (olive oil, butter, bacon fat) in the pan, and heat the fat until it begins a convective process. It will go from being perfectly smooth to getting ripples. This is an indicator that it's about to smoke. Put your fish filets in the pan, cook 75% on one side, watching the coagulation of proteins as the fish goes from grey to white. When this happens 75% of the way up the side of the fish, it's time to turn it over. Finish on the second side, remove to a plate. Then, you can saute vegetables in the pan drippings, use a liquid like white wine to deglaze the pan and release those drippings for your sauce. Saute gives you nice caramelization of sugars, the brown color for great plate appeal that steaming doesn't.

          Larger, fattier fish like swordfish, tuna, salmon can be baked because of the heavier texture and thicker steaks they are usually sold as. However, I prefer to grill this type of fish.

          With all these cooking methods, the ONLY way to tell when something is done is with an instant read thermometer. 160F is your final temperature. Let the fish rest 5 minutes.

          So, forget searching for recipes, forget cooking by a clock and your oven's temperature. Use basic cooking methods and you can write your own recipes.

          S
          Thanks for all your advice ChefToddMohr. I will let everyone know what I type of fish I bake or saute and how it turns out.
          My blog
          http://www.lisaopolis.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I would hate to have to correct you, ChefToddMohr, but all seafood, fish included, only
            needs to be cooked to an internal temp of about 145 degrees.

            Beyond that, you'd be asking for trouble, as the fish could very well dry out and become rubbery. The other night when I baked the fillet of salmon, I watched it very closely because I checked the internal temp with a thermometer until it reached 145 degrees. It was done and moist.

            I learned this in culinary school while studying and perparing myeslf to take the ServSafe exam, which I DID take and passed it with flying colors.
            Last edited by Big Daddy's House; 10-22-2009, 05:50 AM.
            ~BDH.

            I am the King of Kitchen Toys!!!!!! http://www.cookingforums.net/core/im...ilies/wink.png

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Big Daddy's House View Post
              I would hate to have to correct you, ChefToddMohr, but all seafood, fish included, only
              needs to be cooked to an internal temp of about 145 degrees.
              You are correct, Big Daddy.
              I used to teach the ServSafe course, and perhaps from that I'm used to telling people the safest temperature to avoid the lawsuit. (lol) As people gain experience, they can alter cooking temps for their desires.

              Some people have that bed with their own "sleep number". Well, I have a "steak number". It certainly isn't 165f, that's a hockey puck for a steak. My steak number is 128f, perfect for me each time.

              I recommend people find their own final temps based on how they like their fish. You're correct, 160f will probably be over-cooked. LikeToBake should cook to a certain temp, and then adjust for the future.

              Thanks for keeping me honest, and again pointing out that cooking isn't the precise oven time and temp solution that many people think.
              Chef Todd Mohr
              http://www.WebCookingClasses.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm glad you two have discussed this here. As I don't like my fish as done as others it just turns to sawdust. I cook my salmon by watching as the milky fats cook out the sides of the meat. as it gets close to the top it is done. I remove from cooking vessal, cover and let rest to finish cooking. it comes out Perfect most every time. (I say that because a couple of times this method didn't work and it was over cooked a bit. Not too bad but enough for me to notice)

                Thanks again! Every little bit of info helps for cooking fish. everyone seems to have their own method. LOL Like my crazy way. LOL but it works for me!
                Mary

                I'm not a chef, and I don't play on one television

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Semigourmet View Post
                  I'm glad you two have discussed this here. As I don't like my fish as done as others it just turns to sawdust. I cook my salmon by watching as the milky fats cook out the sides of the meat. as it gets close to the top it is done. I remove from cooking vessal, cover and let rest to finish cooking. it comes out Perfect most every time. (I say that because a couple of times this method didn't work and it was over cooked a bit. Not too bad but enough for me to notice)

                  Thanks again! Every little bit of info helps for cooking fish. everyone seems to have their own method. LOL Like my crazy way. LOL but it works for me!
                  Take a look at the blackened catfish recipe I posted on my Chew On This Blogsite. Catfish done this way is truly delicious and you can blacken it to the level you want. I use Emeril's Essence and it's a wonderful coating for this fish.
                  While you're at it please take a look at my new cooking blog,
                  The Simple Comfort Foods of Italy This site features authentic, simple to make Italian meals. \

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're all welcome, and thank you all.

                    Turkey is also one of those funny but strict things to cook.

                    The meat must be at least 160 degrees to be perfectly done. Some say about 180 degrees, but by that time, the breast meat is tough, dried out and like sawdust.

                    Who wants THAT?!
                    ~BDH.

                    I am the King of Kitchen Toys!!!!!! http://www.cookingforums.net/core/im...ilies/wink.png

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Big Daddy's House View Post
                      You're all welcome, and thank you all.

                      Turkey is also one of those funny but strict things to cook.

                      The meat must be at least 160 degrees to be perfectly done. Some say about 180 degrees, but by that time, the breast meat is tough, dried out and like sawdust.

                      Who wants THAT?!
                      Gravy Please?!! LOL!

                      If I happen to overcook my roasted turkey or chicken when I pull them from the oven I turn them Breast side down so that he juices run into the breast meat and will rehydrate them. So far has worked every time.
                      Mary

                      I'm not a chef, and I don't play on one television

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Semigourmet View Post
                        Gravy Please?!! LOL!

                        If I happen to overcook my roasted turkey or chicken when I pull them from the oven I turn them Breast side down so that he juices run into the breast meat and will rehydrate them. So far has worked every time.
                        I just saw that tip on Jacues Pepin's cooking show with Julia Child. Never thought about it but it must work. Thanks for sharing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          this is a really helpful thread. I am always overcooking fish and it never come out moist and flaky like I want it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you.
                            ~BDH.

                            I am the King of Kitchen Toys!!!!!! http://www.cookingforums.net/core/im...ilies/wink.png

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Today I baked a fish for the first time ever!! I made a large steelhead. It turned out amazing. It was possibly the best fish I have ever eaten. I didn't follow a recipe at all, but instead just followed my dad's instructions (which are all random amounts of ingredients).

                              I made it with baked french fry style potatoes with herbs, and honey garlic carrots.

                              My parents loved the dinner, and there was almost no left overs.

                              Here are some photos. I'll do a blog post on it later.
                              Attached Files
                              My blog
                              http://www.lisaopolis.com/

                              Comment

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