Fish can be tricky. More than likely, the vast majority of fish you’ve eaten has actually been over-cooked. Sure, some chefs and line-cooks understand the the difference between a perfectly cooked piece of fish and one that has been cooked until “it’s done,” ie. overcooked to the point where instead of being moist and soft to the touch, it’s dry, stringy, and dense like canned tuna.
Mastering fish is not easy. It requires more finesse and attention than most meat cookery, but it’s far from impossible for an average home cook to prepare a perfect piece of fish. It all begins with proper handling technique and ends with attention to detail while cooking. We’ve done most of the work for you by properly processing, packaging and deep-freezing the best locally-caught fish we can find. From here, it’s all just understanding the basics and not treating those perfect scallops like a pork chop.
Just follow these simple steps and don’t forget to reach out if you have any more questions. Our direct line to the LMC Center For Culinary Research and Development is just an email away and our chefs are standing by.
Keep fish portions frozen until the day before you use them.
Vacuum-sealed fish will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months.
Allow fish to thaw in the vacuum sealed packaging overnight in your refrigerator.
After the fish is thawed, remove it from the vacuum bag and place it in an air tight container. Fish should not be stored in vacuum bags after it is thawed.
If you do not use the fish the day it is thawed, it’s a good idea to use it within a day and place a bag of ice on top of it in the refrigerator to keep it as cold as possible. Icing fish will significantly slow down spoilage.
Your fish portions are ready to be cooked and eaten as soon as they are thawed, but some may contain skin and/or pin-bones which you may choose to remove.
For raw applications, keep your fish as cold as possible, even slightly frozen. This will make it easier to slice for sushi, poke, ceviche or tartare.
Always sanitize any tools or surfaces that come into contact with raw fish.
Fish is excellent when brined. For a standard salt water brine, measure 2% of the weight of the salmon in kosher salt (1 portion equals 8oz. or 226g, 2% of 226 is 4.5g of salt per portion) and dilute in warm water. Just chill the brine and submerge your salmon portions in it for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
I you don’t have a scale and/or just don’t feel like measuring your brine, make the solution taste like ocean water. This level of salinity is perfect for fish brine.
Allow filets to come to room temperature before cooking.
Dry the surface of your fish as much as possible before cooking. The dry surface will ensure even caramelization.
Most fresh fish is excellent raw, sautéed, grilled, roasted, poached or broiled.
Monitor fish closely when cooking. When cooked from room-temperature, most fish will be done in under 10 minutes, especially when using a high heat method like broiling or grilling.
The standard internal temperature recommendation for all seafood is 145°. We have found this to be “overcooked” for most species. For salmon, cod, halibut and scallops shoot for 125°-135°. Shrimp is best when cooked to about 120° and most tuna varieties are ideal around 115°.