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BACK TO ALL COOKING TIPS

How to Cook Frozen Fish

DID YOU KNOW?

FROZEN FISH FILLETS HAVE ALL THE FLAVOR AND NUTRIENTS OF FRESH FISH!

The freezing process locks in the flavor and health benefits of fish? It’s true. Fish that has been frozen soon after it is caught retains its taste and texture. And, the nutrients that make fish such a smart food choice are still in there, too. So, by cooking frozen fish fillets, you can create delicious and healthy seafood meals that you can be proud of.

GENERAL TIPS

THAWING

For many recipes, frozen fish can be cooked straight from the freezer; thawing is recommended for breading, marinating, or frying fish fillets. Plan ahead; defrost fish overnight in the refrigerator. This is the best way to thaw fish to minimize loss of moisture. A one-pound package will defrost within twenty-four hours. Never defrost seafood at room temperature or with hot or warm water, as bacteria on the surface will begin to multiply. If you forget to take the seafood out of the freezer in time, place it in the sink (still in the package) under cold, running water. A one-pound package will defrost in about an hour. You can use your microwave oven to partially defrost fish. Use the lowest defrost setting (10% – 30% power). A pound of fillets defrosts in five to six minutes. The fish should feel cool, pliable, and slightly icy. Be careful not to overheat it and begin the cooking process. Foods defrosted in the microwave oven should be cooked immediately after thawing.

PREPARATION

Be sure all surfaces and utensils that will touch the food are clean. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds before starting food preparation, before working with a new food or utensil, after finishing food preparation, before serving, and after going to the bathroom. Don't let juices from raw seafood, meat, or poultry come into contact with other food. Wash cutting board, utensils, counter, sink, and hands with hot, soapy water immediately after preparing raw seafood, meat, or poultry. Marinating time, if needed, should be no longer than 15–30 minutes in the refrigerator, especially when fillets are thin. Marinating can give fish extra flavor and help prevent it from drying out. Many recipes can be prepared ahead, covered, and refrigerated up to 6 hours. Check recipes for “Cook Ahead” options.

COOKING

Cook fish and shellfish thoroughly. Fish is cooked when it begins to flake and loses its translucent (raw) appearance. Cook fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F for at least fifteen seconds. Seafood is usually cooked under moderate to high heat (425°F). You need a reliable, continuous heat source. So, don't cook it on a hot plate. Avoid interrupted cooking ––– completely cook the seafood at one time. Lightly grease your dish with butter, margarine, or oil to prevent fish fillets from sticking during cooking. Place lemon slices under your fillets to keep them from sticking to the baking dish. It's easier to cut fillets into serving-sized pieces before they're cooked. This also saves cooking time. Fish is most flavorful when served hot, immediately after cooking. To keep cooked fillets warm, place on a platter in an oven at low heat. Cover with a damp paper towel or cloth, until ready to serve.

Never overcook fish. Overcooking dries out and toughens the flesh, ruining its delicious flavor and texture. Test for doneness before extending cooking time. Fillets are generally cooked when opaque in color and flake easily when tested with a fork.

POACHING/SIMMERING

When poaching or simmering fillets, don't allow the liquid to boil, as this will break up the tender meat. When poaching fillets, a few peppercorns in the water will add a unique and pleasant flavor.

BROILING

Thinner pieces of fish need basting while broiling. Try lemon juice, wine, and herbs mixed in a little olive oil.

FRYING

Wipe your fillets dry before frying, then add butter or cooking oil. This will prevent splattering. To enhance the flavor of your fillets, dip them in salted milk before frying.

BARBECUE

To prevent fish fillets from sticking to the barbecue grill, place them on a layer of aluminium foil. Barbecues aren't just for summer anymore! Try preparing fish fillets in foil on the BBQ anytime.

SERVING

Never put cooked seafood back on the plate that held the raw product. Place leftovers in smaller containers and refrigerate them within two hours when the temperature of the food serving area is below 90°F and within one hour when the air temperature is 90°F or above.

SEA CUISINE® PRODUCTS

With Sea Cuisine, ® you can enjoy seafood right at home. Choose from our Gourmet Crusted, ™ Fire Roasted, ™ or Pub Classics, all made with the finest ingredients. Available at your local Grocer and your favorite Warehouse or Club Stores.

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