We love when you visit us at Marker 32, some nights just call for a cozy home-cooked meal. The beauty of cooking seafood is the simplicity, although it’s not a simple skill to learn. But lucky for you, we have some incredible chefs who were willing to share their secrets.
Dab all sides down with a paper towel. We mean DRY. Even the slightest bit of moisture will prevent the fish from getting a crispy, golden-brown crust you definitely want. Also, don’t handle fish like you do with meat. Touch it minimally.
Using the right kind of pan at the right temperature is just as important as salting water when you cook pasta. Use a cast iron skillet or blue steel pan–get it blazing hot, then pour in 1 tbsp. of oil and a generous pinch of salt. Take the skillet off the heat and use a paper towel to wipe the oil and salt from the pan. Fish cooks quickly, and you know it’s properly seared when it can be removed from the pan without flaking apart.
*Heating the oil and salt creates a temporary non-stick surface. Genius! You can also simply use a nonstick skillet, although the fish won’t get as golden and crispy.
Fish is so delicate and its incredible flavors can be easily overpowered. Salt, pepper and some herbs or lemon juice will do the job, and do it well. When fish is quality and cooked well, all it needs is minimal seasoning. Remember, you can always add more!
A good place to start for someone new to cooking seafood is with thick, quality 1”+ fillets of cod, halibut or salmon. Ask anyone in the seafood department at your local grocery store for help, they’re full of good advice and will point you in the right direction.
A fish spatula, that is. Use the fish spat to apply even, firm pressure, skin-side down, to the fillet until it lies flat. Press down periodically until it’s opaque and nearly cooked, except for a small raw area in the middle. Now, time to flip! Only cook the raw side for about a minute.
Don’t make these common mistakes:
Cooking is a blast, and cooking great food is even better. Knowing how to cook a fish fillet is a basic skill, just like making hard boiled eggs. Hopefully we helped boost your confidence in the kitchen just in time for a yummy seafood dinner! But if it doesn’t turn out how you hoped, no worries! Check out any of our five locations in the Jacksonville area for a yummy dish and a great view.
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