Heat Cooking Methods for Fish and Seafood
By Renee Shelton
Cooking Fish or Seafood with
Moist Heat Cooking Methods:
Techniques, Guidelines, Definitions, Ideas, Suggestions
Steaming: To cook
fish or seafood by surrounding it in steam.
used for steaming can be flavored with stock, beer, herbs,
spices, citrus rind, etc. These flavors will impart themselves
onto the item(s) being steamed.
is a variation on steaming, where the items with herbs and/or
vegetables are placed in a parchment paper pouch crimped tightly
to form a seal. The fish is steamed by the natural juices
that accumulate. This is generally to be opened table side.
Poaching: To cook
fish or seafood in a flavorful liquid that is hot, but not bubbling.
used (stock, fumet,
wine, broth, court
boullion) all need to be of good quality and
flavorful. Temperatures for poaching are between 160°F
to 185°F—the liquid needs to be hot but bubbles
should not actually break the surface. Fish poachers are preferred
because they allow the fish being poached to be removed from
the poaching liquid without damaging the delicate meat.
Braising: To cook
fish or seafood in a small amount of liquid, or no liquid after
browning first. Examples: Paella and Jambalaya.
The liquid that is added or formed during cooking is to be served
with the dish as a sauce.
Suggestions: Oven braised
fish is similar to "moist baking" where the fish
is baked in the oven with a small amount of liquid. A classic
technique for oven braised fish is as follows: The flavoring
is first sautéed (such as mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots
or meats such as chicken or ham). The fish is placed on top
and just enough liquid is added to barely cover the fish.
Use this liquid to baste during cooking. If covering, be sure
to loosely cover so liquid has the chance to reduce
somewhat. When done, remove fish, strain liquid and reduce
with cream, wine or finish with butter. This is to be served
with the fish. The liquid used should be flavorful and of
good quality, as in poaching the fish.
Simmering: To cook
fish or seafood in its own juices. This technique with steaming
are used interchangeably when steaming
clams see below.
1. The fish or seafood is
cooked for a few minutes with other ingredients (like vegetables)
over low heat in a small amount of fat to extract juices.
Sometimes more liquid is added, the cooking vessel is covered
and the item is allowed to finish cooking.
2. The fish or seafood is
placed in a pot with a small amount of liquid and/or flavoring
ingredients. The pot is covered and allowed to simmer or steam.
This technique is used for classic
Shelton is the owner of this site, runs the fishing chef blog, and is the Fishing Editor for the 2nd largest women's website on the internet, BellaOnline.com.
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Fishing 'Culinary Info' created by Fishing & Food Editor, Renee Shelton.