When preparing fish, many follow the 3-S rule: clean, acidify, salt. You can cook cuts or whole fish in different ways.
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Every specialty store offers fish ready to cook, as well as crustaceans and shellfish, so that they can be prepared at home immediately. If you buy a whole fish, you usually get it already gutted, you just have to fillet it.
Filleting a fish
In the case of round fish (for example, herring or trout), two fillets are cut.
- lay the fish on its side and make a deep cut along the backbone from the head to the tail.
- Make a cut across behind the gills to separate the full length of the fillet. To do this, run the knife lengthwise through the fish close to the middle bone.
- Separate the bones from the second fillet.
- Separating the skin from the fillets with a knife.
Tips for preparing fresh fish
The time-honored "3-S rule (cleaning – acidifying – salting) for preparing fish does not have to be done in this way at all times.
Fresh spinach with fish in curry coconut milk
Suitable cooking methods are boiling, poaching (cooking in hot liquid), steaming, frying and grilling. When boiling, make sure that the water is only slightly boiling. If it boils too much, the fish may disintegrate. For fat-free steaming you can put the fish with herbs in an aluminum foil or frying foil. It should be closed, but still leave a cushion of air around the fish. You can then cook the package in the oven. Herbs and spices such as basil, dill, curry, thyme, pepper, mustard, mustard seeds, ginger and garlic go well with the fish.
More information about seafood
How to prepare fresh mussels?
The mussels must be fresh and intact. Only alive they are suitable for consumption.
- Wash mussels thoroughly in cold water, brush them and remove the whiskers.
- Wash the mussels again until the water remains clear.
- Sort out open shells.
- Put the mussels in boiling water and cook them over high heat, stirring frequently, until they open. After cooking for five minutes, let the mussels cook for another five minutes without heat.
- Discard individual specimens that have not opened during cooking.
- Serve the finished mussels with the broth immediately hot.
How to prepare shrimps?
Shrimp are sold cooked in different stages of processing: the whole animal, only the tail, with and without shells. In all these variants they can be fried or grilled, but if possible only very briefly. When frying and grilling with the shell on, shrimp remain more tender and juicy and have more flavor. They taste delicious in dill sauce, with pasta or simply with buttered bread.
Cocktail shrimp is the name given to a processing method in which the shrimp is peeled, but the last segment of the shell and the tail fan are left on to hold on to during "dipping" remain intact. Only larger shrimp are used for this purpose.
How to tell when a shrimp is cooked?
When the curvature of the shrimp reaches a U, they are done cooking. When the head and tail parts overlap, the optimum cooking time has been exceeded. Shrimps with shells basically curl slower than shrimps without shells.
How and for how long can seafood be stored?
Fish and mussels spoil easily due to their special protein composition. Therefore, they should be prepared and eaten as soon as possible after purchase. If you don’t eat fresh fish immediately after buying it, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a day: To do this, place the fish in a glass or porcelain dish and cover with plastic wrap. They should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, near the back wall on the glass shelf above the vegetable compartment.
Fish is also good for freezing. For this purpose, the fish should be fresh and quickly prepared (gutted, washed and packed) and frozen. Defrosting takes about one to two hours at room temperature. After thawing, fish should be prepared and eaten immediately.
Fresh or cooked mussels should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than a day. However, they are best eaten immediately. Freeze mussels only cooked, otherwise they lose flavor.
Shrimps belong in the refrigerator and should be consumed after two days at the latest. They can also be frozen well. Frozen they can be kept for up to a month. Caution: The meat of spoiled shrimps is soft, slightly greenish and smells similar to ammonia. Life-threatening poisoning can occur if they are eaten. Therefore, spoiled shrimp must be thrown away immediately.
Status: 18.03.2020 / Authors: Rudiger Lobitz, BLE; Ruth Rosch, Dusseldorf and Dr. Claudia Muller, Bonn