Our Favorite Fish Recipes
Nutritionally Important Fish
We all know we should eat more fish, particularly omega-3 rich fish like salmon, black cod, sardines, lake trout and branzino. Eating just one or two portions of these fish per week can reduce your chance of dying of a heart attack and protect against Alzheimer's disease. There are other benefits of eating fish, but these two are enough for me.
Great Home Cooked Fish is Not Hard
One of the reasons many home cooks shy away from fish is they just are not comfortable cooking it. Maybe you've had the experience of an expensive fillet sticking to your pan and falling apart in little chunks. Or you can't seem to achieve the delicious and delicate flavor that you get in so many restaurant fish dishes. Or the thought of cooking a whole fish, eyeballs and all, is unnerving. Whatever the reason you fear fish, we are here to help. Here are our favorite fish recipes to get you started on two servings of fish per week.
We start with a few great salmon recipes because salmon is the king of omega-3 fatty acids.
This 5-ingredient salmon recipe is perfect for a quick midweek meal. You can make the sauce in advance and prepare this salmon in a mere 15 minutes, or sauce to finish in 30 minutes. This is a great recipe for people who are not sure they like fish. The sauce and everything it touches is delicious.
This recipe is a staple in our house. We cook it for a quick weeknight meal as well as when we have guests to feed but little time to prepare. I found this recipe by Selma Hurwitz in the April 2006 issue of Bon Appetite. You will need some white wine, some Old Bay Seasoning, brown sugar and some really good whole grain mustard. I am a big fan of Pommery Mustard, known as the King of Mustards in France because 100 years ago it was only served to royalty.
Whether you eat this salmon hash for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it is simply delicious. Serve it plain or take it up a notch and add a poached or fried egg.
Black cod, also known as butterfish or sablefish, is not only delicious, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and reasonably priced, but it is one of the most sustainable fish in North America, rated by The Marine stewardship Council as a "Best Choice" fish to eat. Read more about this buttery good fish on my post. Here are two easy, sure-fire ways to prepare black cod.
When Nobu put this traditional Japanese method of preparing fish on his menu the world stopped and took note. It was so buttery and good that everyone thought it must be very hard to make. Nothing can be further from the truth. This is one of the easiest fish preparations there is. You really must try this recipe. If you have the time and really fresh fish let it marinate for a day or two. If you are pressed for time, even half an hour in the marinade works wonders on this fish.
Bamboo steam baskets are known as the "microwaves of Asia." They are simple to use, cook food quickly and you can layer different foods in stacked baskets to cook a whole meal of fish and vegetables at the same time. This recipe calls for black cod, but you can cook salmon, halibut or mahi mahi using the same recipe. I like to cook whole fish using this basket method, but fillets work well too. Click here to purchase a bamboo steamer basket.
I personally like my ahi raw or prepared tataki-style where just the outside is seared and the inside is raw. Here are two of my favorite ahi recipes.
I grew up eating poke when I was a kid in Honolulu. Until recently, this raw fish salad was associated primarily with the islands. Today, poke has gone mainstream, and in fact was on several food lists as one of the top food trends for 2016. The great thing about poke is that it begins with bite-sized chunks of fresh fish, but you can add a wide variety of ingredients for all kinds of flavor variations. For this poke recipe, I incorporate traditional Thai flavors of red curry paste, fish sauce and coconut milk.
This recipe is slightly modified from Sam Choy's cookbook The Choy of Seafood. I coat half of the fish like Sam, in furikake and the other half in my favorite blackened fish spice. All the fish gets quickly seared and thinly sliced, then it gets topped with a simple sauce made of grated cucumber, white vinegar and sugar. Yum!
Additional Fish Recipes
Branzino is another fish that people might shy away from making at home. The truth is grilled branzino is very easy to make. Have your fishmonger clean your fish for you. Then all you need to do is stuff the cavity with lime slices and fresh herbs and throw it on the grill.
Chilean Sea Bass is truly a delicious fish, so much so that it was once so overfished that it was seriously endangered. The good news is that through a variety of responsible stewardship practices some Chilean Sea Bass is now at sustainable levels. The Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch provides mixed ratings of "Best Choice", "Good Choice" and "Avoid," depending on where it is caught. The other problem with Chilean Sea Bass is its potential mercury content. Due to its high place on the food chain and long life span, Chilean Sea Bass can have high levels of mercury accumulation, with actual levels varying depending on where it is caught. From a health standpoint, Chilean Sea Bass should only be eaten once or twice a month by healthy adults. Read my recipe to learn more about the pros and cons of eating Chilean Sea Bass.
On occasion, there is nothing more delicious than this tender, white fish that has almost a lobster quality to it. This recipe results in restaurant-quality Sea Bass and takes just half an hour to make. Be prepared to be wowed!
The good news about swordfish is it is meaty, steak-like, high in omega-3 fatty acids and depending on how it is caught North American swordfish is rated Best Choice (harpooned and hand-lined) or a Good Alternative (long-lined) from a sustainability standpoint. The bad news is due to potential mercury levels swordfish is on the top of the list of fish to be avoided. I personally am comfortable eating swordfish a couple times a year.
If you want to make delicious swordfish at home, this is how to prepare it.
If you have fresh fish, garlic, onions, red pepper, tomatoes, a jalapeno pepper, limes, a handful of cilantro, and 15 minutes you have one of the most delicious appetizers known to man. The key of course, is really fresh fish. Here is my favorite way to make Fresh Ceviche.
This healthy fish taco recipe from Lourdes Castro is a family favorite. Instead of frying the fish in oil it is marinated in a spicy sauce and then quickly cooked in a pan. The result is a fast, healthy and delicious meal.