Dressing Up Your Fish

by Jon Alexis

We eat with all 5 of our senses. Here are some easy ways to dress up your fish meals at home that appeal to all our senses. Tips we’ve learned over the years from restaurant chefs to our own customers.    

One Extra Step – No Extra Dishes

Baking is great for fish. But it’s never a bad idea to sear your fish first. This one extra step is the BIGGEST difference between home cooking and restaurant cooking. Searing carmelizes sugars and locks in moisture. But moreover, it gives you contrast of textures. which is the same reason the a sandwich tastes better slightly toasted.

For any baked fish, preheat oven and get an oven-safe skillet HOT. Add a little butter or oil (we prefer grapeseed over olive) and sear on 1 side 1-3 min. Don’t touch. Flip and put the skillet in the oven. Take however long you seared the fish off the baking time.

Make Your Bed – Of Veggies

Doesn’t it look nice at a restaurant when your fish (or chicken or pork) comes on a bed of veggies. Adds color and depth to the plate. And TJ’s has delicious healthy sides already made.

Jicama Salad
Oil-Free Sauteed Juliened Vegetables

Quinoa Salad With Feta & Spinach
Couscous With Almonds & Cranberries
Braised Cabbage

Just put in the middle of the plate, and place fish on top.

Add A Little Zest To Your Dinner

Lemon + Fish = Good. Why? The acid in citrus makes your mouth salivate, creating more enzymes which break down food. So it literally brings out the natural flavor.

Squeezing lemon is always good. Try zesting a lemon over your finished fish. You’ll get the bright citrus flavor and a touch of bitter from the skin. Plus powerful lemon smell. We taste with our noses! And we love lemon zest over scallops. Add lemon zest to your marinades for lots of flavor, too.

Parsley – Not Just For Restaurants

It takes 2 minutes-tops? Keep a little fresh parsley at home. Fine dice and finish your fish dishes with a sprinkle. Dice up and keep sealed in the fridge and you’ll have garnish for a week. Even easier -a sprig on th plate looks pretty and smells good too. Do one plate with and the same plate without… look at the the difference!

Jon Alexis is the owner of TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market and one of the very few fishmongers in Dallas. He is also a regular contributer to craveDFW.

3 Comments

Filed under chefs, Cooking Classes, Dallas, Jon Alexis, Party!, Seafood, TJ's Fresh Seafood Market, Wine

3 responses to “Dressing Up Your Fish

  1. Snack Perkins

    “Searing carmelizes sugars and locks in moisture.”

    Both sentiments are incorrect. It’s been long disproved that searing “locks in moisture” in any way. In the case of searing fish, no sugars are carmelized, rather proteins are converted via the Maillard reaction. Similar to carmelization, but not the same.

  2. jack…err snack-

    You are 100% correct, we took some liberties with the science on that one to try to convey a simple concept.

    Haven’t you ever seen “The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance?”

    “When the legend becomes fact…print the legend.”

  3. Margaret Manser

    Jon, what is that big ulgy fish you’re holding? He sure needs dressing up.

    Loved this post.

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