SAMM: cooking fish

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  • SAMM, don’t give up on cooking fish. It’s a bit of an art. My son is better at it than I am, and here’s why: I’m always worried about under-cooking it, whereas he worries about over-cooking it. While it’s true that undercooked fish is not good, you can then just cook it a little longer, checking every minute or two until it’s done; whereas, once it’s overcooked, it’s just not very good and there’s nothing you can do about it except hope that the over-cooking is less noticeable if you chill it and turn it into a salad.

    The other thing is that I think fresh fish does taste better than frozen, *if* it’s really fresh, and most wild-caught tastes better than most farm-raised to me (although there is some farm-raised salmon from Scotland that is excellent). Most frozen fish is now immediately frozen on ship, so it’s pretty good quality. We do use frozen shrimp a lot. But I do prefer fresh fish usually. Get to know your fishmonger. They should be able to tell you where the fish is from, if it was farm-raised or wild-caught and if it was wild-caught if it was done so in a sustainable manner, why they chose to sell the particular fish they have in stock. I always ask them how they would cook it themselves, too. Even if I cook it a little differently, it helps to know what temperature they would cook it at and how long, as a guideline. They usually like talking about the fish and appreciate a customer who is interested in cooking it well. If they don’t seem to know anything about it, buy your fish somewhere else.

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