Trying to eat more fish? I’m sure you know fish is good for you, but so many people avoid fish without giving it the attention it deserves. Let me give you some ideas on how you can add fish to your diet and enjoy every meal.
Some people love fish, some people hate it. Then there’s everyone else—those who don’t mind eating fish, but they admit that they don’t eat as much of it as they think they should. For some, it’s ‘a taste thing,’ for others it’s ‘a texture thing.’ Then there are those who think fish preparation requires advanced cooking skills. They’re the ones who are perfectly happy to eat fish—as long as someone else prepares it.
Most of us know that fish is good for us, which is probably why we feel a little guilty for not eating more than we do. Fish is a terrific protein source, packed with vitamins like A, D and B12 and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. It’s also lower in fat than meat and most cuts of poultry. Plus, the omega-3 fats that it does contain offer up an array of health benefits.
Sometimes, people have only tried one variety or two. Based on that, they conclude that fish just isn’t for them. But with so many ‘fish in the sea’ and such a huge assortment of flavors and textures, there really is something for everyone. If you’re having trouble deciding to add fish into your diet, here are some tips that might help.
In general, white-fleshed fish is milder in flavor than fish with darker flesh. So, start with mild tilapia, cod, sole, flounder, halibut or shrimp rather than stronger-tasting fish like salmon or mackerel.
If you’re turned off by fish that has a soft texture, try firmer fish like tuna, wild salmon, or scallops. On the other hand, fish is delicate so try not to overcook it. Otherwise you’ll end up with cardboard-like tuna or rubbery shrimp.
One way to get around the ‘odor thing’ with fish is to buy frozen fish and cook it without defrosting. Frozen fish is often less expensive than fresh. Frozen fish is usually processed very soon after it’s caught, so it’s fresh and nutritious. To cook frozen fish, simply give it a quick rinse under cold water to remove any ice on the surface of the flesh, then pat dry. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and sear (skin side up) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s brown, flip it over, season with salt and pepper, cover tightly and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the fish is opaque all the way through.
Fish is really versatile, and you can experiment with using fish in your everyday dishes instead of meat or poultry. Try soft tacos with grilled fish instead of chicken, maybe add fish or shrimp to your pasta dishes or stir-fries. Firm fish is great on the grill, either as whole steaks or cut into chunks and threaded on skewers with veggies.
Before you bake, broil or sauté, try brushing with a little mustard, or teriyaki sauce, or add a little olive oil and lemon. Try a simple spice rub before grilling. After cooking, try topping fish fillets with spicy salsa and avocado slices. Or just stick with the basics: sometimes all a perfectly grilled piece of fish needs is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
This is a tried-and-true recipe for delicious, moist fish. The breadcrumb coating bakes into a tasty, crispy crust that resembles fried fish but without all the oil. I’ve specified tilapia, but you can use any fish fillets. You might need to adjust baking time if your fillets are thicker.