Fish is one of our favorite proteins to cook with, and for good reason! It’s flavorful, versatile, full of nutrients and quick cooking. Salmon is a popular choice for its firm texture and rich flavor, but there’s so much more cooking to be enjoyed from the seas! White fish like cod and sea bream are great for everything from soups to curries, fish tacos and gratin. Shellfish is also a great alternative that can add a bit of luxury to any quick meal. Read on for a round up of our favorite fish recipes.
Undoubtedly one of our favorite fish varieties, salmon is versatile, nutritious and easy to cook. Higher fat content keeps it succulent and reduces the likelihood of it drying out during cooking, making it perfect for kitchen novices and veterans alike. A simple dry rub using salt, sugar and spices flavors salmon filets perfectly, preparing for high heat cooking such as this perfectly grilled salmon filet. Otherwise, you could choose to pan sear it and serve with seasonal vegetables, such as this lemony salmon with creamed spinach and mushrooms. Another favorite way to cook salmon is in the oven. You could season your filets and lay them on your oven tray, or wrap in parchment paper with fresh herbs and other seasonings for a juicy, tender parcel of succulent fish. Try this parchment baked salmon with beetroot salad.
Seafood, especially shellfish, can be intimidating if you don’t know what to do with it. The truth is, it’s easier than you think to cook delicious, succulent shrimp, calamari and bigger crustaceans. To get started, check out our handy how-tos on preparing shrimp, lobster and oysters. When it comes to shrimp or prawns, you might even prefer to buy the peeled, headless variety - readily available in the supermarket freezer. These can be quickly defrosted and used in pasta, rice, curry and noodle dishes. Just be sure not to over cook them to avoid tough, rubbery shrimp. When they begin to curl a little and turn bright orange, they’re ready. Once they curl all the way up, they’re overdone!
Perfectly tender, fresh filets of white fish pair perfectly with a variety of flavorings and cooking techniques. Quickly dusted in flour and pan-fried or battered and deep fried for classic fish ‘n’ chips either way, the key is not to over cook it. Your filets should be just opaque, typically taking just a few minutes per side to cook. You can also buy whole fish and steam or grill it with stuffings and marinades of your choice. Whole fish can be a little more fiddly to eat, but tends to stay lovely and moist, and gives a real feeling of celebration when placed down to share.
Fish soups, stews and curries
Fish and shellfish soups, stews and curries are delicious, and often quick to prepare as the protein does not need long to cook. Spicy, aromatic Thai green curry is enhanced by the delicate sweetness of fresh prawns, while this Sicilian seafood stew combines octopus, clams and swordfish with rich tomato sauce and green olives - perfect for serving to friends at your next dinner party. A classic New England chowder honors fresh clams in a creamy, herby broth that leaves you wanting more.
Choosing the perfect fish or shellfish for a recipe may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re limited to supermarket availability and your recipe calls for something specific. However, there is almost always a suitable substitute, just be sure to use something with a similar texture (for example, oily, flaky, or meaty), and adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the piece of fish. For shellfish dishes, clams and mussels are often interchangeable, or can even be substituted for prawns for a different texture.
Fish and shellfish make delicious, simple pasta dishes. This sardine pasta with olives and garlicky breadcrumbs makes great use of canned sardines (an affordable, sustainable and shelf stable alternative to fresh fish!) Fresh mussels, clams or shrimp can be tossed with parsley, garlic, lemon, butter and linguine for a luxe-feeling restaurant style meal at home (for a fraction of the price!) Salmon or white fish can likewise be pan fried and served with long noodles like spaghetti or spaghettini. Smoked salmon or canned tuna are also great options for pasta dishes and bakes, like this linguine with tuna sauce.
Light, fresh and packed with colorful, flavorful ingredients, fish tacos are a favorite for a reason. In this classic fish taco recipe, lightly grilled white fish (try halibut, snapper or cod) is wrapped in a soft corn tortilla with a zingy grapefruit, mango, avocado salad and creamy dip. Perhaps one of our favorite things about tacos is their versatility! Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your taste or what’s in season. You could even swap the fish for fresh shrimp if you prefer.
Our favorite way to serve fish tacos is DIY style at the table, allowing everyone to fill theirs to their own taste. Lay out your salad, dip, tortillas, freshly cooked fish and any other condiments or toppings you like (hello jalapenos!), and let your guests assemble their own.