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Thin fillets of fish i.e. plaice, should be rolled up prior to cooking to avoid overcooking on the thinner outside edge and tail. Fish steaks should be arranged in a circle, thicker part to the outside. Cover with cling film or lid.
Fresh fish should always be sprinkled with 30 ml (2 tbsp) of lemon juice, white wine or water. When cooking frozen fish, add liquid as above for even cooking.
Do not sprinkle salt onto fish before cooking as this may make the fish dry.
During cooking, popping sounds may be heard. This is due to moisture trapped between the flesh, particularly with oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. This can be minimised when cooking if the skin and flesh is pierced several times with a cocktail stick.
Fish cooks very well by microwave as it stays moist and the lingering fish smells left in conventional ovens are avoided.
When is fish cooked?
Fish is cooked when it flakes easily and becomes opaque.
If cooking 2 whole fish together, they should be arranged head to tail for even cooking.
Large whole fish must have the tail and head shielded halfway through cooking with smooth pieces of tin foil secured with cocktail sticks.
Top tip to eliminate fishy smell?
For fish with a strong odour, eliminate the smell after cooking by placing 600 ml (1 pt) of boiling water and 1 sliced lemon in a large bowl, cook on simmer for 20 mins. Wipe out oven with a dry cloth.