5 Healthy Ways To Cook Fish

Now you can save your butter for baking. We’ve got five healthier ideas for cooking fresh fish.
More delicate than meat, fish can dry out easily. To keep moisture in, cook fish quickly over high heat (grilling, broiling, or sauteing) or gently poach it in liquid.

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Sauce

Photo by CookinBug

Poached Fish
This gentle cooking method is perfect for seafood. Poaching keeps fish moist and won’t mask the delicate flavor of the fish. To poach fish, use vegetable or chicken stock, or make a court-bouillon, a homemade broth of aromatic herbs and spices.

  • Use a pan big enough to lay each piece of fish down flat.
  • Pour in enough liquid to just barely cover the fish.
  • Bring the liquid to a simmer, and keep it there.
  • If you see any bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan, it’s too hot–the liquid should “shimmer” rather than bubble. The ideal poaching temperature is between 165 and 180 degrees F (74 to 82 degrees C).
Lemongrass and Citrus Poached Salmon

Photo by LynnInHK

Steamed Fish
Steaming is another gentle cooking method. It produces a mild-tasting fish that is often paired with a flavorful sauce.

  • Rub the fish with spices, chopped herbs, ginger, garlic, and chile peppers to infuse flavor while it cooks.
  • Use a bamboo steamer or a folding steamer basket with enough room for each piece of fish to lie flat.
  • Pour about 1½ inches of water into the pan.
  • Place the steamer over the water, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil.
  • Begin checking the fish for doneness after 10 minutes.
Florn's Chinese Steamed Fish

Photo by Erin

Broiled Fish

When the weather’s not right for grilling, try broiling instead. Broiling is great when you want a fast, simple, hassle-free preparation with delicious results. It gives fish a nicely browned exterior with the convenience of a temperature-controlled heat source. Just follow the basic grilling instructions above. For easy cleanup, line the broiler pan with a piece of foil.

Yogurt-Marinated Salmon Fillets (Dahi Machhali Masaledar)

Photo by chocolots

Baked Fish

Baking fish allows you to get the satisfying crunch of fried fish without all the fat. Just because it’s baked, though, doesn’t mean it’s healthy: watch the amount of butter, oil, mayonnaise, or cheese called for in the recipe.

Crab Crusted Grouper

Photo by Rick Hollingsworth