The Best Way to Cook Fish in a Skillet
Cooking fish in a skillet is a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious and healthy meal. Whether you’re a novice cook or an experienced chef, there are a few key steps you can follow to ensure your fish turns out perfectly cooked and flavorful every time.
Choosing the Right Type of Fish
The first step in cooking fish in a skillet is choosing the right type of fish. Some of the best options for skillet cooking include salmon, trout, halibut, and tilapia. These types of fish are firm and hold up well to the high heat of a skillet. It’s important to choose fish that is fresh and of high quality. Look for fish that has a mild, ocean-like smell and clear, bright eyes.
Preparing the Fish
Before cooking the fish, it’s important to properly prepare it. Start by patting the fish dry with paper towels. This removes any excess moisture, which can prevent the fish from developing a golden, crispy crust. Next, season the fish with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasonings. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of herbs for added flavor.
Cooking the Fish
Now it’s time to cook the fish in the skillet. Start by preheating the skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of oil, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, to the skillet and swirl it around to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the fish to the skillet, skin-side down if the fish has skin. Let the fish cook undisturbed for a few minutes, until it develops a golden crust. Flip the fish using a spatula and continue cooking until it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, usually 2-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fish.
Serving the Fish
Once the fish is cooked, it’s time to serve it. Remove the fish from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. You can serve the fish as is, or you can top it with a sauce or garnish, such as a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, or a drizzle of melted butter. Serve the fish with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, steamed rice, or a fresh salad.