How to Cook Fish Like a Pro | Cooking 101 With Sohla | NYT Cooking
Home » How to Cook Fish Like a Pro | Cooking 101 With Sohla | NYT Cooking

How to Cook Fish Like a Pro | Cooking 101 With Sohla | NYT Cooking

Can I flip It wow like a really low stakes Pancake hi Sola here at the New York Times cooking studio and this is part of A beginner's cooking series where I Teach you all the basics you need to Know to be confident in the kitchen and In today's episode we are talking all About fish I'm going to show you some Really easy simple ways to like conquer Fish by the end of this episode you're Going to be an a Ficado Huh today we're going to show you three Really simple fish cooking techniques We're going to start with a oven roasted Salmon no splatter crispy skin delicious We're going to do a really simple curry With a frozen tilapia and then fish Tacos we couldn't do this series without Having a Taco what's fresh today everything Everything that's what you want to Hear so when I actually go buy fish I Don't have a plan of what I'm going to Make until I get to the counter cuz you Want to take a look see what looks good And if you're not sure just ask your Fishmonger get to know them they'll Always let you know what's fresh and What's the best thing for that day Sustainability is an issue they kind of Give you a guide of what level of Sustainability that Seafood is at if

You're not sure a great resource is so it's great to head On over there check out what they Recommend purchasing and then decide With farm raised fish they could be Grown in an enclosed Pond or in an Enclosed area of the ocean wild cut can Mean a lot of different things it could Be lion cut the less sustainable option Is there are these nets that they drag Through the ocean depending on the kind Of fish we're talking about sometimes Farm race is a better option and Sometimes wild cot is a better option Here we have a bunch of frozen fish a Lot of times the fish that you're buying Fresh is frozen and they've thought it For you and the great thing with frozen Fish fish is it's frozen in a method Called iqf which means individually Quick Frozen so often times this happens Right on the boat they cat the fish it's Frozen at a very very low temp not like The temperature in your freezer they Have special freezers it freezes really Fast so that you produce really small Ice crystals and you don't damage the Texture of the fish once it's thaw Individual means that it's frozen in Individual portions making it really Easy for you to defrost and cook just as Much as you need so whole fish could be Intimidating but you can always ask your Fishmonger to clean it for you it's a

Lot easier to tell how fresh it is you See clear eyes and bright red gills the Scales are really tightly attached if You see a fish and the scales are just Kind of like hanging on by a thread That's an old fish you want to stay away From that and also cooking a whole fish Might be one of the easiest ways to cook A fish cuz you just shove some herbs in There throw it in the oven and it's Delicious if you go to your fish monger They can prepare your whole fish for you However you want they could simp just Scale and gut it or they can remove the Head and the fins or they can fillet it The choice is yours the level of Preparation you'd like on your Fish salmon it's a really good starter Fish because salmon is actually super Super forgiving it's very fatty you can Like see it you can see how oily the Fish is just when you look at it and Because of that you don't have to like Nail the cooking and it's also one of The few fish where it can be a little Bit under and it's delicious it could be A little bit over and it's delicious There's a really wide range of Deliciousness there's a lot of room to Groove with salmon here I have a couple Center cut fillets you can also find Salmon and steaks you can also get like The tail end which is a little bit more Affordable but what's nice with this is

You get this really thick side where you Can end up with like a nice perfect Medium rare and then you get this really Thin side which is the belly which gets Like really crispy and cooked all the Way through so you get like a lot of Variance and textures in one piece by Just cooking it in one way so salmon Already very forgiving fish to cook We're going to make it even more Forgiving by giving it a quick dry Brine And when you dry brine proteins like Chicken or duck it actually takes quite A while but with fish 15 minutes to 2 Hours so you really have no reason to Not so we're going to go hard and we're Going to go all over It make sure you get the sides you want Evenly seasoned fish I remember when I Used to watch emal live he'd always say You don't want your food to taste One-sided and I think about it every Time I remember to season all sides of Something so like take a sec and Remember this salt is not too salty so This is not as scary as it looks wow we Did it it's dry brinded you can do it Too I'm going to pop this in the fridge For about 15 minutes and then we're Going to make our cucumber salad so here We have some of these mini Persian Cucumbers and we're going to do like a Smash technique you see this a lot in Asian Cuisine and it's great because it

Breaks up the Cucumber so it absorbs the Dressing like immediately and we're just Going to drop it into our Bowl growing Up we also had a cucumber salad on the Table with every single meal so when I First started cooking my responsibility Was to make that cucumber salad I'm very Deeply attached to cucumber salad once We add our oil and lemon it can be a Little bit difficult to taste the Seasoning so I like to season it with Salt anytime you're seasoning anything Make sure you toss it well and make sure It's had time to like thoroughly Dissolve before you taste and decide Because you might get a little bit a Piece with like too much salt and then Misjudge the seasoning of The Whole Bowl a bunch of chopped Dill I love Dill But you can use any kind of soft herb You want dried cranberries I love having Something a little sweet with salmon a Good bit of olive oil and lemon juice Cuz this is kind of going to be the Sauce for the salmon and we're going to Hit it with some lemon zest as Well Now it's time to roast our fish my fish Has been in the fridge for about 15 Minutes and you can see that a lot of The salt has dissolved the surface is Quite wet if you take it all the way to Like dry and dissolved you're going to End up with more of a cured texture now

I know I talked a lot about not rinsing Your chicken washing your chicken is the Worst thing you can do for cross Contamination but with salmon it's it's Not as big of a deal because there isn't As much like cell manella bacteria Craziness happening but you do still Have to worry about cross contamination So I'm going to take this back to the Sink and give it a quick rinse now at This point if you don't want to cook it Right away you can wrap it in paper Towels pop it in a zip top bag and place It on ice and store it for 3 days but we Are going to cook it right away so I'm Going to Pat it dry patting it dry is Just like when you pat dry any protein Moisture is the enemy of brownness so Take a Time thoroughly Pat it dry And it's going to make a really big Difference when it comes to the Browning I'm going to lightly oil it up this is Also going to help with Browning and Evenly conducting heat if you do have Pools of oil sometimes it can just like Sit on the tray and burn and I'm going To lightly season with salt I know it Had a bunch of salt on there but it Still needs a little bit more because we Rinsed so much of that Off you want to be pretty delicate with Your seasoning this is going to roast in The oven at 425° it's going to be about 12 to 15

Minutes if you have a thinner tail piece It'll be faster if you have a thicker Steak it'll take longer but I'll show You what you need to look for to know The Dness so my fish has cooked for about 12 Minutes and right now it's like a little Bit medium rare in the middle which is What I want cuz I'm going to pop it back In for a quick broil to crisp up the Skin the color has changed it's become Opaque and I like to feel the sides give It a little swiish you can tell down Here it's quite firm when you go to the Thicker side it's got a little bit of Give a little bit of Squish so I know That's like kind of a medium rare Another way to check is we're going to Poke it there shouldn't be any Resistance when you poke raw fish you Can tell it just it doesn't want to Slide right in but you know it's cooked When you can get right in there let it Sit for a moment and then that's going To allow the temperature of the fish to Transfer to the metal and you can kind Of feel it on your lip and be like oh That's just like barely warm I know it's Like kind of in a mid- rare place which Is what I want now if you don't have a Cake tester or if this feels a little Scary and you want to be sure just get a Knife just get in there it's okay you Know I get it I get it you don't want to

Sit down to the table and have raw fish So just get in there and just take a Peek yeah yeah so it's flaking really Easily but it's still just right in the Middle a little bit of flashiness so we Know it's a nice medium rare now since I'm going for the broil for the crispy Skin I've cranked up the broiler and I'm Going to drizzle it with a little bit of Oil just to help us get that final final Bit of crisp but you can see that it's Already quite crispy this is going to Happen real fast so just stay by it I Think like 1 Minute ooh this is exactly how I like it Even though we did this in the oven it's Like it's fried it gets so crispy the Combo of the dry Brine and the broil is Key And I especially Love that the belly part gets really Really Crisp Wow it's crazy how crispy you can get The Skin without needing to use a pan this Is good fish So now I'm going to show you a really Easy coconut curry fish that uses frozen Fish and what's great about it is you Don't even have to thaw the fish we're Going to let it braze in the really Flavorful Curry I'm going to start by Getting my Skillet heated medium high

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil And while that gets going I've got red And green bell peppers that easiest way To cut them is I just cut around the Seeds cut off Cheeks just like that and we're going to Do the old chop and drop so then we're Just going to cut through this way and It makes it a lot easier and we were're Able to get rid of those seeds pretty Quickly so I'm going to thinly slice our Peppers we chop and we drop we're Looking to kind of get these nice and Softened it's just a chop and drop just Like Rachel Ray taught Us it looks like a lot of peppers but Peppers are mostly water so it is going To cook down the red peppers a little a Little bit sweeter it's going to bring One kind of flavor green bell peppers Are a little bit grassier it's going to Hit us with another layer of flavor That's why we're using both here so we Got our Peppers we're going to add our Onions and I'm going to season this with Some salt and it's going to really help Wilt all of our veggies down we're not Looking for a lot of color so I'm going To toss occasionally and you can see Some of the peppers I added earlier are Already wilted and it's okay if it's not Like totally even cuz once it brazes With the coconut milk it'll all come Together brazes and stews are pretty

Similar things it's when you cook them In liquid it allows the meat to get very Tender when you're brazing a short rib We're talking 4 hours we're brazing Tilapia 20 minutes the difference Between a braze and a stew is just about Size and ratio of liquid so with stews We're usually talking about smaller cuts Of protein like one inch cubes or shrimp Something that's already kind of small And it's usually in more liquid like the Protein will be fully covered in the Liquid this is a brace because we're Going to be doing larger fillets and It's going to have it's not going to be Fully submerged in the liquid all right So our peppers and onions have gotten Nice and soft so we're going to be using A Jamaican curry powder you can't just Like add spices to something and then It's done it needs some either like Direct heat from dry heat like in a Toasting step or here we're going to get It like with some direct cont with fat In this sweating step or just like needs To be simmered for a while otherwise it Can be kind of chalky and harsh so we're Going to let this cook out for about a Minute and then it's going to simmer for Even longer with the coconut milk and That's going to really help develop a Lot of that spiced flavor I'm going to Add some finely chopped Garlic as well as a little bit of grated

Ginger and we're going to let that cook For about a minute garlic and ginger Also like if we were just going to add The liquid right now without giving it a Little direct heat the flavors just like Don't fully develop we want to pull out Those fat soluble flavors with some Direct contact with the pan right Now now what's really cool is we've got Just frozen tilapia filet that we're Going to plop on top and it's going to Cook through and thaw at the same time Tilapia is also a really really Affordable fish so it's good to get to Know it and now I'm going to pour over My coconut milk this is going to be our Brazing Liquid to season up those fillets and We're going to taste it for final Seasoning after I'm going to cover this And let this cook until the fish easily Flakes with the fork timing is going to Vary depending on the kind of fish you Use and how thick it is but we're going To come and check on this after about 15 okay so my fish has been simmering Away for about 20 minutes And you can see that the fish itself Released a lot of liquid which helped Make this like extra Saucy and we know That the fish is done because it easily Flakes tilapia is not like salmon you Definitely want to make sure it's cooked Through otherwise it kind of has the

Texture of raw chicken not so fun not so Appealing I'm going to brighten it up With a little bit of fresh lime juice Some scallions and cilantro I'm going to Plate this up with a little bit of Steamed rice now if you head over to our Rice episode you can learn how to steam Your own rice you can't have curry Without rice that's just wrong you need Rice to soak up all that Sauce make it pretty for you for your Beauties okay so you can see the fish Flicks away so Nicely so you get a lot of vegetabless From the peppers nice bit of sweetness From the coconut milk and then a little Bit of Spice from the curry and it's all Really nice with the fish because Tilapia is like a very mild fish so it Can handle any kind of flavor you throut It fish tacos as someone from California I have a deep Bluff this is going to be A really really simple pan fry the fish Is just going to go into some milk and Then flour and we're going to fry it up So it's like a little bit crispy for our Dredge we're going to keep it real chill A little bit of flour this fish taco Recipe is by Sam sifton and he dredges His fish in WRA flow which is kind of Cool cuz it's a pre-gelatinized starch So it doesn't get clumpy and it also Like gets really crispy fast if you Don't have wonder you can use all

Purpose no worries we're going to season That up with some chili powder salt and Pepper it's really important to season Every layer even your dredge I feel like When you're whisking something dry you Just want to mix it and be done with it But it really does take a minute to like Evenly distribute the dry into the dry You can really tell with something like This cuz there's chili powder but when You're whisking uh like flour with Baking powder baking Soda it can be very misleading so just Whisk longer than you think so my Skillet is getting a little warm I'm Going to add my peanut oil you want to Use a neutral fat here we want to go hot And fast so we get a nice crust but the Inside doesn't dry out so for the fish We're using some cod you can use really Any lean white fish but Cod is very Accessible and we're going to cut it Into strips Against the Grain fish grain It's a little different from the grain Rin on chicken or meat cuz it it kind of Goes like comes out of the spine and Goes like this I think the easiest way To think about it is if your spine is Here we're going to go this way we want Half inch pieces here so we're going to Have some really nice meaty strips for Our tacos and then I'm going to do chop And drop right into some milk this is Going to be the wet for our dredge it's

Like we're making what's that called are They called fish strips no fish sticks We're making fish sticks for our Taco The great thing when you're frying fish Is that Typically when it's brown on the outside It's cooked on the inside unless you Have like a really big like like you're Doing fish and chips and you have a Really big piece of cod then the dness Might be a little bit harder to gauge You want to get in there with the cake Tester so our peanut oil is nice and hot So we're going to get frying going to Toss this in the milk and then lift it Out of the milk and we're going to add It to our Dry and it's just going to be like a Really light coating with a pan fry you Just need enough oil to generously coat The bottom about like a/4 inch maybe Even less anytime you're frying anything You want to make sure you don't like Plop whatever you're dropping into your Pan from far away cuz that's when it Gets dangerous that's when the oil Splatters back at you so you're going to Be scared but you can do it just get Close we got Sizzl and we're going to plop in our Pieces of fish fish we're making our Little fish Sticks and since we have a cast iron Skillet there's no worry of sticking I

Know fish sticking can be like a scary Thing but a well seasoned cast iron Skillet is basically like a nonstick but Better because it conducts heat better You get better Browning better Crispies Better little fish stickies look at how Close my hand is to the oil just don't Touch it and you'll be Okay but it's not splattering back at me You can see we're already getting some Nice Browning and the other thing about Cooking fish is it kind of tells you When it's time to turn it so that first Piece turned right away so I knew it was Done don't mess with it if it's sticking It means that there's still moisture on That crust that's what's causing that Adherence so just let it like let us do Its thing it will release when it wants To Release oh God I think I'm a little handier with This okay then with Tong Yes ooh thank you oh my gosh you're like So you just like so on the ball watching The disaster Unfold oh my goodness how do you know What I need this video is going to be Interesting cuz you have a shot of me Flipping with every single tool Possible the fish it tells you when it Wants to be Free All right it's time to make our tacos so

Here we have some shredded cabbage a Little bit of salsa a Chipotle lime Crema hot sauce lime tortillas time to Party there's a lot of ways to heat up Your tortillas in this recipe Sam sifton Likes to heat it up with a little bit of Fat in a skillet which is going to kind Of give us like a little bit of a crispy Pliable situation if you prefer a little Char you can do it directly on the gas Flame if you want something that's more Soft you can wrap the tortillas in a wet Paper towel and zap it in the microwave For like 30 seconds wow look at that Tortilla go okay so I think it's fun to Just put everything out let everyone Build you decide how much fish you want On there how much sauce how much Salah a Little bit Of a Little just letting you guys are just Letting everything Burn paying attention to the other stuff Uh-huh you know that this this is a Fancy Taco cuz it's on a really big Plate this is fine dining baby you want To make something look fine dining in Your home get the biggest plate you have And if you want to take it to like the Extra stupid level flip the plate over And serve it on the back fine dining Baby a little Crema I like a lot of cabbage I like a Lot of crunch some cilantro little lime

Little hot sauce and we're ready to Taco really nice and Meaty we get some Nice crispy outside from the batter and It's really nicely seasoned with that Chili powder and then when you put it All together you got your Crema you got Your freshness you got your crunch it's Perfect and you don't really have to Overthink oh is this perfectly cooked This is a fantastic way to cook Fish Do you have leftover salmon I'm going to Show you what to do with it often times When you dry roast of protein heating it Back up can really make it dry out so Instead I'm going to show you how to Make a really easy salmon dip there's no Recipe you just follow your heart I'm Going to start with a base of cream Cheese and sour Cream now I want to get the base stuff Mixed before I add the salmon so I can Have nice big flaky bits of fish in There so we're going to do a little sour Cream cream you could do this with Whatever you've got Greek yogurt LNA do A little cream cheese with buttermilk wo I like the cream cheese cuz it's kind of Going to feel like the things you would Put on a bagel and then we're going to Have it with a bagel chip huh you could Do this with smoked salmon or if you Have any kind of roasted fish left over Like let's say you roasted a whole fish

Brino or something a little bit of cod You can flake it and just throw it into This dip so the beginning part it's just About making sure you get all those Lumps out before you go further cuz if You don't get the lumps out now they'll Be in there the whole time okay I'm just Going to keep Stirring perhaps we should switch to a Whisk oh you know what would be good on Top of this a little bit of caviar that Feels like a nice texture to me and now We begin adding the flavors so Dill d And salmon love each other a little bit Of lemon zest I don't want to have the Juice here cuz I like the Tang level Already but if you really want to go for A little bit more brightness make your Dip on the thicker side and add a little Juice you could totally dice up your Leftover cucumber salad put that in here It will have like a tsiki Vibe crazy I Just thought about that all on my own We're just going to have big bites of Pepper so we're going to get some good Texture here cuz we got texture from our Pepper texture from our capers And now I'm going to mix this up and Taste before I add Salt more pepper more salt more Capers More lemon Test I'm going to keep the flakes kind Of big right now cuz as we mix it in it Will further

Flake Wow huh it's also good whenever you make Dip stick a chip in there because Otherwise I feel like people get afraid To just dip and they'll spoon on their Plate that's not fun get in there it's a Dip it tastes like a bagel with all the Stuff you want on it you know in dip Form and more importantly you took like A little bit of leftover salmon and Stretched it I hope you saw that there's A lot of fun easy foolproof ways that You can eat fish go forth you are now And just like that you are an a Ficado

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