The Steamy Se­cret to Per­fectly Cooked Fish

En­riched with herbs and spices, a gen­tly sim­mer­ing broth in­fuses seafood with sub­tle yet al­lur­ing fla­vor.

Cooking Light - - Ask The Experts The Seafood Guy - BAR­TON SEAVER Chef, sus­tain­able seafood ed­u­ca­tor, and au­thor of Amer­i­can Seafood

JUST LIKE MAR­I­NAT­ING packs meat with bold fla­vor, steam­ing per­fumes seafood with en­tic­ing aro­mas. In this moist-heat cook­ing method, fish fil­lets rest above a small amount of scented, sim­mer­ing liq­uid. When the pot is cov­ered, cap­tive aro­matic heat gen­tly cooks the seafood.

Sur­pris­ingly sim­ple, this is a prac­ti­cal and fun method for home cooks. Start with your fa­vorite aro­mat­ics—gin­ger, herbs, and citrus peel pro­vide a fresh punc­tu­a­tion mark; spices like cin­na­mon, clove, and star anise add com­plex­ity. Place them in a large pot or skil­let with a tight-fit­ting lid, and add just enough liq­uid to the pan to mea­sure 1/2 inch. Bring the liq­uid to a sim­mer. Set a rack (or build a vegetable “raft” from cel­ery or fen­nel stalks) above the sim­mer­ing liq­uid, and place sea­soned fish on top. Cover and steam un­til the fish is cooked through, about 7 min­utes per 1/2 inch of thick­ness.

There’s just one more tip you should know— be sure to sea­son fish well with salt be­fore cook­ing. Un­like poach­ing, the steam­ing process doesn’t fla­vor the fish with any salt.

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