How to cook fish confidently
In addition to being great for overall health, and a quick-cooking source of lean protein, fish is a Free Food on Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, called Food Optimizing. This means we eat fish* freely to satisfy our appetite, without any weighing, counting or measuring.
If you’re feeling a little lost at sea when it comes to buying or cooking fish, here’s what you need to know before diving in:
Best buying tips
- Go for fish that smells faintly of the briny sea or a clean pond, if at all. Even a slight whiff of ammonia or “low tide” indicates that fish isn’t fresh.
- Fish flesh should look lustrous, not dry, and should be compact, without a lot of deep grooves. Whole fish should have clear eyes and gills that are red, not brown.
Store for freshness
- If you aren’t cooking the fish the same day that you buy it, remove it from its wrapper and give it a rinse in cold water. Pat it dry before placing it in a single layer in a sealed plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge. Refrigerate it for up to two days.
- If you want to freeze your fish, wrap individual fillets or whole fish in plastic and place inside a resealable freezer bag. Be sure to mark the date: Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are best eaten within two to three months, while lean fish like cod and flounder can keep for up to six months.
Cook and enjoy!
- To avoid dry fish, cook until it just loses translucency, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
- Thick, firm fish like salmon and swordfish are ideal for grilling and sautéeing, while delicate fish like cod and flounder are best suited for techniques like steaming, broiling, and baking.
- Our Mediterranean roasted cod recipe (shown above) is a great intro to cooking mild white fish, and the crispy potatoes and juicy tomatoes make a delicious base.
Add a boost of flavor to any plain cooked fish with one of these easy Free Food toppings:
- Asian slaw: Toss one cup shredded cabbage with a dash each of rice vinegar, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
- Yogurt-dill dressing: Mix together fat-free plain yogurt, fresh chopped dill, and capers. Season with paprika.
- Mango salsa: Mix together chopped mango, tomato, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.
*The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly oily fish) at least twice a week. There are certain groups of people, such as young children, moms-to-be and breastfeeding moms, who are advised to limit consumption of certain fish or shellfish. Please visit choosemyplate.gov for more information.