A Trick for Perfectly Cooked Fish

We eat a lot of fish around here. And by a lot I mean that our local fishmonger knows us individually and as a couple and gives us crap when we don't come in for a week or so.  We are the people that come in often enough to get a slight discount since we spend some much money there. Yeah, we're those people. What can I say? We love us some sea creatures. We started incorporating more fish into our diet a few months ago because it felt better than eating heavy meat every night, Brad loves to cook fish, and my diet veers closer to the vegetarian side of things than the carnivore side these days. Plus, fish is insanely good for you.  When we started eating more fish, Brad became really interested in finding tricks and techniques to perfectly cooking fish because overcooked fish is just awful. A few people have asked me about how to ensure that your fish is perfectly cooked without having to google cooking times, techniques, and risk having a minor panic attack. When I tell them, they laugh. The trick that we use?   It's simple, a bit strange, and people may look at you funny while you're doing it. Don't worry, it's a technique used by Eric Ripert (who is pretty much a fish god in my mind) and Jamie Oliver.

The trick? [/source]

One of these guys. Yes, that's a metal skewer (if you don't have one, a knife works in its place). If you're wondering how a metal skewer helps you tell when fish is perfectly done, let me explain.

This is the process to check if your fish is ready:

This was dinner last night: butter poached opah with a saffron-vanilla sauce over thyme and rosemary roasted green beans and potatoes. A Brad creation.

1. Take your skewer and gently try to flake the fish. If it flakes apart very easily, it's a good sign. Most people use this as an indication that the fish is ready and it is usually pretty spot on. 2. Next, take your skewer and gently slide it into the middle of fish.  Be careful not to hit the bottom of your pan. You want it to be smack in the center of the thickest part of the fish. 3. Let it sit in the fish for a few seconds. 4. Now, take the edge of the skewer that was in the fish and touch it to your top lip. This is where people may think you're a bit crazy.  Trust me, they will think you're a genius in a few seconds. 5. If the skewer feels cold or room temperature, the fish isn't ready yet. You want to the skewer tip to feel warm but not scalding hot - something like a cup a tea (around 170 degrees) is what you're aiming for. If your skewer feels warm, remove your fish and let it rest for a few minutes. Pan seared salmon is lovely on a salad with some paprika infused olive oil and balsamic.

You now have some deliciously cooked fish.  This technique works no matter if you bake, broil, grill, poach or cook your fish in a pan. See? Perfectly cooked fish is easy with a few tricks up your sleeve.