3 Simple, Stink-Free Tips for Cooking Fish at Home

By: Uriell Carlson, RDN. Founder, Inner Wild Nutrition. 

I’m not going to lie, cooking seafood in my own kitchen is not something I’ve been doing for a long time. 

Instead, “let’s have fish for dinner” always meant salmon, Every. Single. Time. Because that’s all I knew. You wouldn’t see this girl to be tossing scallops with angel hair or simmering cod in coconut milk, that’s for sure. 

Fortunately for me, times are changing and I can confidently say that I’m now happy to cook seafood (not just salmon) any day of the week!

First, I have to credit this to my friend Sierra, of Sierra Gale Seafood, who gave me a sampler box of seafood last spring. Suddenly, I had a beautiful box of salmon, cod, scallops and tuna sitting in front of me and I felt a moral obligation to give it all a try. Let’s just say, I’m so glad I did! Not only because I’m eating healthier and I have so many more go-to options to meet my daily protein goal, but also because it’s just delicious. 

So, if you’re intimidated or afraid of cooking seafood at home, don’t be! Cooking seafood at home is so much easier than I thought it would be. These days, seared scallops with braised greens are ridiculously easy and black cod simmered in coconut milk with some garlic and any spices that happen to be calling my name are my go-to dinners. I love that I can cook fresh frozen fish just as easily as it being thawed.

With that, I want to give all you weary seafood cooks out there a few tips to take the leap, buy something (anything!) other than what you’ve stuck with for the last 5 years and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. 

Don’t Be Scared Of Cooking Fish at Home

Alaska Salmon Risotto Image

First, listen to episode #239 of the Bon Appetit Foodcast: Don’t Be Scared of Cooking Fish at Home”. You’ll get some inspiration and instantly feel less intimidated to cook seafood. 

Second, know this: as long as you’re getting good quality seafood that has been packaged and handled with care, it should NOT stink up your entire house. If you’re still not sure, slow roast your fish instead of cooking it over high heat on the stove top. Obviously this is a thing because Bon Appetit has an entire series of slow roasted fish recipes that you can toss in the oven! Check them out here.

Third, remember that it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just because you’re making seafood doesn’t mean that the rest of the meal has to be difficult. My go-to is any fish with sauteed or roasted veggies and any whole grain, such as wild rice or Banza pasta. On the laziest of nights, I roll a piece of tuna in sesame seeds, sear it in a bit of butter and olive oil and then eat it with soy sauce and chopsticks. Easy! 

Not sure where to get good quality seafood that you can trust won’t smell up the whole place? My best advice is to find a sustainable, small-scale operation based in your area. Take some time to get to know your fishermen and women. For Colorado folks, check out Sierra’s options at Sierra Gale Seafoods. You will not be disappointed. 

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