Fish Basics Part 2

Cooking fish is an extremely useful skill, but too many people are nervous or squeamish about it. In this, the first of two dedicated tutorials, we demonstrated three easy methods to kick-start your knowledge and confidence, whilst getting you reliably delicious results.

The video itself focuses on technique and the following recipes are designed to help you put those techniques into practice.


What to remember when cooking fish:

– Use plenty of oil when pan-frying, and get the oil really hot.
– Season the skin of the fish generously with salt.
– Fry skin side down first, pressing down with a spatula for the first minute.
– Check after 3 minutes or so, looking for self-release, golden browning and crispy skin.
– Fry the other side and check after a minute or two.

– When steaming a fillet with a thin, tapered tail, you can fold it over for more even cooking.

– Properly cooked fish has flesh whose flakes are defined but not yet separating
– The colour of the flesh should be plain and solid, with no greyness or translucency.
– The flesh should feel firm, but with a slight softness inside.


Fish & Chips

Cornflour and plain flour (equal amounts)
Dark ale, ideally ice cold
Frying oil

  1. Cut potatoes into chips
  2. Boil in salted water for 2 minutes, then drain immediately
  3. Keep in the fridge
  4. Head the deep-frying oil to 150C and cook the chips until softened, but remove them as they begin to colour.
  5. Mix the flours together
  6. Add the ale gradually and whisk until it reaches double cream consistency
  7. Cover the fish in batter and deep-fry for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish
  8. Heat the oil to 180C and fry the chips for service until golden brown


Fish Risotto

40g unsalted butter
1tbl olive oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
200g Arborio rice
75ml dry white wine
875ml fish or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Crème fraiche
Selection of chopped fish

  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan
  2. Add the chopped onion and sweat until translucent and add the garlic for 1 minute only
  3. Next, add the rice and heat until you cannot touch the grains for more than an instant
  4. Add the wine and let it be absorbed
  5. Start adding your stock, bit by bit. Wait until each measure has been absorbed before adding the next and keep the pan hot.
  6. Stir constantly to keep the starch moving (in order to create a creamy consistency)
  7. Season little and often
  8. Cook until al dente, add more water if necessary
  9. Add the creme fraîche
  10. Stir the fish in and cook through
  11. Season to taste