How to Cook Fish 

What an experience of learning the ever expanding ways of how to cook fish. Today, as refrigeration carries the icy fresh catch to all of America, the fish recipes are endless. This modern refrigeration and the quick freezing process make many types available out of season and in localities remote from the source of supply. The process of salting, smoking and canning add additional supply and flavors.

To learn to cook fish it is important to know the cuts. A fillet is a side or section of the side which is cut lengthwise, with bones and usually skin removed. The thickness will depend on the size and variety of the fish.

The most commonly filleted are cod, haddock, mackerel, perch, halibut, whiting and flounder, which is often called sole. The true sole is an English fish but in the United States certain kinds of flounder go by the name of sole.

A steak is cut crosswise from a whole large fish and is scaled or skinned. This cut is usually ¾ to 1 inch thick. Commonly used steaks are salmon, halibut, swordfish, bass and cod.

Allow about one half pound of whole fish or one third pound of fish filet or fish steak for each serving. Quick frozen packages of fillets or steaks are ready to us with or without thawing as the package directs. If there are no directions as to how to cook fish, thaw first and then cook like you would fresh fish.

When learning how to cook fish you will find it so easy. Fish cooks quickly and can be cooked by all kinds of methods. There are many recipes for fried, baked, broiled, grilled and poached fish. Most of these recipes are delicious and quick. For a beautiful presentation, try cooking a whole fish. This is often done by the poaching method using salted water, broth, milk or a mixture of water and wine.

If you poach often you might want to invest in a fish poacher. A poacher has a basket in it with handles making it easy to lift the fish in and out of the liquid. You can also poach in a skillet, pot or Dutch oven with lid.  Simply lower prepared fish into simmering liquid covering the fish completely. Fish fillets, steaks and whole fish can be cooked by poaching but more often whole fish.

To prepare a whole fish for poaching, rinse the fresh gutted fish under cold water. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Follow your own recipe or stuff it with fresh herbs, onions, leeks, carrots or favorites for seasoning. Wrap kitchen string around the fish to hold it together during cooking. When learning how to cook fish, for poaching cover pot, pan, etc. with a lid and simmer gently.

Do not allow the poaching liquid to boil fully. It causes a tougher texture and likely will break up the flesh.  Steaks and fillets will be ready in about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness. Whole fish take a little longer depending on size. Of course when using fillings and stuffing it will take additional time. 

BAKED COD RECIPE with stuffing

How to Cook Fish like this Baked Cod Recipe with StuffingBaked Cod Recipe with Stuffing

When learning how to cook fish you will find many fish fillets are stuffed with various types of stuffing. This stuffing can also be used for other types of fish.

  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon divided
  • ¼ Cup dry bread crumbs
  • ¼ Cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Fish fillets

NOTE: I used 4 small but thick cod fillets; I sliced ¾ way through fillets to stuff. You might use longer thinner fillets (like flounder) and roll them around the stuffing to bake. If you use large fish fillets, you might want to double the stuffing recipe.

Sauté onion and garlic until tender in oil; remove from heat.

Add ½ of lemon juice, breadcrumbs, cheese and almonds to the onion mixture.

Add beaten egg, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to the mixture; blend well.

Prepare fish fillets and divide the stuffing among them.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes (depending on size of fillets) until fish flakes.

SWEET AND SOUR FISH RECIPE a delicious recipe when you learn how to cook fish

  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 1 Green pepper cut in strips
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ Cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1 Can (24 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 ½ Pounds fish fillets (sole, cod, whitefish)

Sauté onion and pepper in oil until tender; add next 6 ingredients.
Cook stirring until blended and thickened.
Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; arrange fillets in it.
Season with black pepper; cover with sauce.
Bake at 350F degrees for 30 minutes.

STUFFED FILLETS OF SOLE (Makes 2 servings)

Learn how to cook fish with this spinach stuffed filet of sole; one of the best fish and seafood recipes.

  • 4 Filets of sole (7 to 8 ounces each)
  • Salt
  • Florentine stuffing (recipe below)
  • 1/3 Cup dry white wine
  • ¼ Teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 Teaspoon pepper

Wash fish and pat dry; place skin side up and salt lightly.
Place 1/3 Cup of the stuffing in the center of each filet.
Roll up securing with toothpicks; stand on end “crown style” in greased baking dish.
Pour wine over crowns, season and bake at 325F degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until flaky.

Florentine Stuffing Recipe

  • 1 ½ Cups washed drained and chopped spinach
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • ½ Cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 Ounces butter
  • ½ Cup minced onion
  • 4 Ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Ounce slivered almonds
  • Salt/pepper

Blend spinach with sour cream and crumbs.
Melt butter in skillet; add onions, mushrooms and almonds and stir until slightly cooked.
Season with salt and pepper; blend with spinach mixture and chill until ready to use.


Learn how to cook fish with seasoned ale batter.

  • 1 Package (8 ounces) Cantonese stir fry sauce mix
  • 1/3 cup dark ale
  • Pinch of Cajun seasoning
  • 6 to 8 Fish cods
  • Flour
  • Vegetable oil

Combine Cantonese mix, ale and seasoning; blend until smooth.

Dip filets into the flour and then into the batter.

Deep fry in several inches of hot oil until golden brown.

Serves 4.


  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 Cup sliced carrots
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Pound fresh fish filets (Haddock, sole or red snapper)
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • ½ Cup chopped sweet dill pickles (Or relish)
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons brandy
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ Cup ketchup
  • 1 Lemon

Combine onion, carrots, salt, pepper and water in a covered microwave casserole dish.

Cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes; add fish and spoon vegetables on top.

Cover casserole with wax paper which has been coated with margarine.

Cook 5 minutes longer until fish flakes easily and has turned white.

Remove fish to a bowl and flake it with a fork; add vegetables, capers and pickle.

Mix together well; refrigerate until well chilled.

Combine and mix the mayonnaise, brandy, lemon juice and ketchup to make the sauce.

To serve spoon sauce over each portion; garnish with a slice of lemon.

Serves 6.


  • 4 to 6 Fish filets
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • ½ Cup orange juice
  • 1 Small red bell pepper (Sliced)
  • Parsley
  • ½ Cup diced onion
  • Salt/ pepper

Combine tequila and orange juice; add fish and marinate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove from marinade; cook over hot grill turning over 1 time.

Grill with sliced red peppers, top with parsley and diced onion.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper; serve hot.

NOTE: This can also be seared in hot skillet with a little butter or oil.


  • 4 Cod steaks (Or other white fish)
  • Salt/ pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Wash and dry steaks; arrange in single layer in shallow microwave dish.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with wine and lemon juice.

Dot tops with butter; cover dish with plastic wrap.

Microwave on HIGH for 4-6 minutes until flaky when tested with fork.

To serve sprinkle with coriander and lemon wedge.


  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ Teaspoon coarse pepper PLUS
  • 4 (4 Ounces each) orange roughy fillets
  • Lemon slices for garnish

Preheat broiler with rack 5 ½ inches from heat.

Combine lemon juice, mustard, butter and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 

Place fillets on greased broiler rack in pan.

Brush half lemon juice mixture on fillets.

Broil 10 to 12 minutes with oven door partially open.

NOTE: Fish should flake when tested with fork.

Transfer fillets to serving plates; drizzle remaining juice mixture.

Sprinkle with pepper and garnish with lemon slices.


  • 2 Pounds thick firm fish (Cut in 1 ½ inch cubes)
  • ¼ Cup lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon basil
  • 1 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Bell peppers (Seed and cut in 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 Oranges (Cut in chunks)

Combine lemon and lime juices in 2 quart glass bowl; whisk in oil and spices.

Add fish cubes to the marinade and toss; stand at room temperature 2 hours.

Stir fish occasionally; drain and RESERVE marinade.

PREHEAT BROILER; arrange rack 4 to 5 inches from heat.

Thread fish cubes on skewers alternately with green pepper and orange chunks.

Place skewers on jelly roll pan; turn 3 TIMES during cooking browning each side.

NOTE: Baste 6 to 8 times during cooking.

NOTE: Heat remaining marinade just to a boil and serve with fish.