Fish is a light, nutritious, and popular choice for an entrée the world over. But it’s a product that can go bad quickly, which is why it’s commonly sold in frozen portions. There has been much debate over whether fresh fish is better than frozen, but the fact is, it all comes down to knowing what you’re doing when preparing frozen fish. 

Here are a few cooking tips to ensure you end up with a delicious, nutritious fish entrée for lunch, dinner, or whenever you’re craving seafood.

Frozen Fish is as Delicious as Fresh

A common myth is that frozen fish is inferior to fresh. This isn’t true, as current freezing technology flash-freezes the fish at peak freshness. When fish processing companies do this, they ensure their products keep their fresh taste and nutritional value. It’s especially important for killing off parasites and other things the fish might be carrying that could make you sick.

If you’re still worried about your frozen fish having an “off” taste, there are ways to fix that. You can make frozen fish taste fresh with marinades, running it under cold water, and different thawing techniques.

Time It Right

Cooking times take longer depending on whether or not the fish is fully frozen. This is why it’s important to time it right when planning on fish for dinner. If you’re planning on cooking a fish straight from the freezer, the cooking time will be a bit longer. You’ll also want to rinse off the ice with cold water and thoroughly pat dry your fish before cooking. After that you’re free to cook your fish, though you’ll need to add a few more minutes of cooking time to the recipe.

If you want a shorter cooking time, you’ll need to think ahead and take your fish out of the freezer to thaw. Depending on the size of the fish, you might need to start thawing up to 24 hours before cooking. What’s important is that you don’t just leave it out on the counter overnight to thaw. Doing this could lead to bacteria growing on it. Instead, let it thaw out in the refrigerator.

Choose the Right Cooking Method

When it comes to frozen fish, you need to choose the right cooking method to get the most out of it. For example, frozen fish don’t pan-sear the same way as fresh fish. This is because freezing traps in additional moisture, so the fish won’t brown to a crisp. Instead it will basically steam which, while delicious in its own way, isn’t the result you’re going for.

Instead, choose a cooking method that will work well with the flaky flesh and additional moisture. Baking, broiling, steaming, and poaching are the best and easiest cooking methods for frozen fish. Baking and broiling will help the moisture within the fish evaporate so it can actually brown. Meanwhile, steaming and poaching make use of the moisture so you get a succulent entrée.

Preparing fish is easier than you think, and that includes frozen fish. So long as you keep these tips in mind, you’ll have a delicious fish entrée ready to serve, whether you’re working in a restaurant or making it at home.