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Our Fish Cooking Guide

Here we have produced our guide to fish cooking covering grilling, roasting & baking, frying, poaching, steaming and microwaving. We have also provided links to recipes where you can try out your newly found skills!


Grilling under fierce heat seals in flavour. To charcoal-grill or barbecue fish, first brush with oil to stop the fish from sticking, then season. Small whole fish, thick steaks and fillets all cook well under the grill. Slash sardines and mackerel with a knife before cooking to allow the heat to penetrate to the centre. Salmon, trout and sea bass are good.

Roasting and baking

A high cooking temperature will give a crisp skin and quickly cooked centre, ideal for oily fish such as mackerel. Baking with herbs and a little oil or butter at a lower temperature gives a slower-cooked, moist finish. Thick fillets, such as cod, haddock, monkfish, whole salmon and trout, are all suitable for roasting or baking. Bake salmon fillets or delicate halibut wrapped in foil.

Pan Frying

Frying fish that has been dusted with flour or dipped in batter or a crumb coating seals in its flavour and moisture, giving soft, juicy flesh inside and a crisp coating on the outside. Deep-fry larger pieces of fish in batter at medium heat. For goujons, cut sole fillets into strips, crumb and fry very hot.


Poaching produces moist, tender fish. Pour water, milk or a court bouillon (flavoured cooking liquor) over the fish to cover, and add a little butter and white wine. Poach on the hob or in the oven until the fish is just done. Fillets and steaks, skate wings or whole flat fish such as salmon, trout, sole and sea bass are all superb poached, as is smoked fish.


Steaming is ideal for fish, as the finished result is moist, delicate and very healthy, due to the fact that you don't need to add any butter or oil. Use anything from a simple fold-out metal 'fan' to a Chinese-style bamboo steamer or electric steamer. Small to medium fish, such as trout, can be steamed whole. Cut larger fish into medium to thick steaks or fillets.


Using a microwave is the quickest way to really bring out the delicate taste of fish. The moist atmosphere cooks it quickly and locks in flavour. Choose evenly sized steaks and fillets and be aware that it is easily overcooked as food continues to cook after you have removed it from the microwave. Check your manual - it is better to return the fish for 30 seconds than overcook it.


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