Unit 19: Fish focuses on becoming more comfortable and proficient with cooking and handling fish. It begins with buying and storing fish, moves on to determining the freshness and proper ways to handle this perishable item, then addresses how to properly prepare both oily and lean fish, and ends by teaching pan frying which happens to be my personal favorite way to prepare fish. More…
If you take nothing more from my ramblings, I hope that you consider trying the following recipe from my graded assignment called Simple Asian Trout. I cannot exactly explain why, but it is perfection on a plate. You just have to trust me on this. In order to complete this dish, I measured out 1/2 cups of tamari, minced 1 tablespoon each of garlic and ginger, and ground some fresh black pepper. I mixed them together in a 8×8 casserole dish. I then de-boned the steel-head trout and portioned out the pieces; removing some of the thin section on the side (of which I fried up later for my pup). I then put the pieces of fish skin-side up in the dish to marinade for 30 minutes in the fridge making sure to spoon some of the marinade over the skin.
Once the fish was ready to be cooked, I heated the fry pan to medium-high and added the oil. The original recipe called for the fish to be cooked skin-side down, but I chose to cook the skin side last as the other side was to be my presentation side (I always give my pup the skin of the fish as a treat). I turned the fillets over when they were cooked approximately half way through and had formed a nice crust. I then cooked for a little under 2 minutes on the other side.
To tell when the fish was done, I used one of the fillets and allowed the flesh to open slightly taking advantage of the natural flake lines to see inside. The fish was pink and opaque around the edge and somewhat of a translucent salmon color on the inside on my first view so I took the lot of them off the heat and out of the pan immediately. I did not want them to cook much more. While the fish had been marinading, I took the opportunity to roast some Brussels sprouts with salt, pepper, and olive oil. When the sprouts were almost done, I sprinkled a bit of tamari on them and put them back in the oven for a few minutes. The steel head and sprouts were done at almost the exact same time, so I was able to plate immediately. I will definitely make the steel head again with this marinade. Interestingly, it firmed up the fish a bit which allowed for it to be cooked less resulting in an extremely moist fillet.
Brodie, my dog, and I will miss this unit, but will take what I have learned and use it to make our fish dishes even better. Brodie may be patient, but I am chomping at the bit!