Sunday, May 13, 2012

Healthy Cooking with Fish

Fried fish is yummy when prepared well; I can’t deny that. And in a lot of cultures, fried or boiled fish are the only two options most people know. And considering that a lot of folks prefer fried fish to boiled fish, nothing more needs to be said on the subject.

However, fish in itself is pretty healthy as it is a great low-fat protein option to meat, and it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote heart health. So rather than smothering our fish and concealing most of its great qualities in a not-so-great way, let’s try other ways of preparing the fish to get the same great taste and retain the positive benefits. How, you ask? How can you do this besides boiling it?

Grilling: Well, most of you are probably familiar with grilled fish. To do this, you’d need a grill and your spices to give the fish some flavor. Grilling does require some non-stick spray or a dash of oil to prevent the fish from sticking to the grill.
Steaming: Steaming is very similar to boiling, but the food isn’t bathed in the actual water. When you steam fish, you spice up the fish like you would for any other cooking method, but rather than put it in a pot of water, you put it in a steam basket in the pot over the water. This way, when the water turns to steam, that is actually what cooks the fish. This is a method, you can’t really use with meat because it would take forever, but since fish is delicate, you can cook it this way and still retain the nutrients.
Baking: If you want some crust on your fish, this is one good way to keep the crust without frying it. However, if you are trying to balance out your calories, it is important to consider what ingredients go into your crust as well. Baking is usually in a dish in the oven or in foil. Foil is great for baking fish as it helps retain the juices, especially for drier fish like cod.
Broiling: Broiling is not so different from grilling. The major difference is that while the heat comes from the bottom when you grill, the heat comes from the top when you broil. So if you are broiling fish in your home oven, make sure you adjust the oven tray a few levels down so that the fish doesn’t get too dry.
Poaching: Poaching is a specialized form of cooking. Poaching fish is similar to boiling except that you spice up the water or liquid the fish will be poached in, make sure the level of the spiced water is just high enough to cover the fish, and cook at a particular temperature (usually 165 to 180 degrees) for the specified amount of time.

So while I agree that fried fish is delicious, there are other ways to cook fish to keep it healthy and still retain the flavor. Try one of these methods today!

Cheers Eights & Weights! 

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