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The ABC's of fish

The ABC's of fish

When it comes to meal planning, fish is always a good choice—whether for a quick weeknight supper or for when company comes over. It’s easy, quick, and nutritious. Although not always a big crowd-pleaser in the past, fish has gained in popularity and more and more Quebecers are incorporating it into their menus! Many also find the amazing variety available in the fish and seafood section to be a true source of inspiration in the kitchen!

Guide to buying fish

Choose fish with skin that’s shiny, pearly, and firm. Scales should cling and be shiny and intact, while flesh should be firm and elastic. There should be no strong or unpleasant odour.

How many grams of raw fish should you plan per person?

How do you know when fish is fully cooked?

Flesh should be opaque and moist. It should be uniform in colour and flake away easily when pulled with a fork.

Cooking methods:

Here are some cooking terms and techniques used to cook fish:

À la meunière

This method works best with small fish. Fish is coated with flour and then sautéed in butter.

English style

Fish is coated with flour, dipped in a mixture of eggs whisked with milk, covered in bread crumbs, and then sautéed in butter.

Steamed

Fish is cooked using a steamer placed in a covered saucepan with a court-bouillon or fish broth.

Roasted

Oven-roasting is the perfect way to cook whole fish, fish steaks, and fillets with a little bit of liquid and your choice of seasonings. For best results, baste fish with cooking juices during cooking so it absorbs more flavour.

Baked in foil wrap (en papillote)

This method works best with delicate fish. Fish is placed in a sealed aluminum or parchment paper packet along with vegetables, seasonings, and some broth or white wine. The steam circulating in the packet cooks the fish so it stays moist and absorbs all the flavours.

Fried

Before frying, fish is coated with tempura batter or flour. It is then plunged into a deep fryer on high.

Grilled

The barbecue is best for grilling fish steaks, whole fish, or firm fish fillets.

Poached

Poaching works best with fillets you want to keep moist. Fish is plunged in a simmering liquid such as a court-bouillon made with white wine, fish broth, or a blend of water, carrots, onions, and a bouquet garni.

Pan-fried

Pan-frying is best for small whole fish, fillets, and steaks, but also works well for delicate fish that tends to come apart when cooked. You can sauté fish with the seasonings of your choice and then break it apart into large pieces.

Here are some recipe ideas and cooking tips for the various types of fish you can pick up from your IGA fish and seafood specialist:

DELICATE FISH

Pangasius

Pangasius

  • White fish with medium fat content and a delicate, flaky texture 
  • Delicate, light-tasting flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Roasted, pan-fried, or baked in foil 

Add to cart

Ocean perch

Ocean perch

  • Lean, white fish with a tender, flaky texture
  • Mild and slightly sweet flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Baked in foil or oven-roasted with seasonings 

Add to cart

Pollock

Pollock

  • Lean, white fish with a delicate, very crumbly texture
  • Delicate, sweet flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Roasted on a baking sheet or baked in foil

Add to cart

SEMI-FIRM FISH

Bass

Bass

  • White fish with medium fat content and a texture that flakes coarsely and melts in your mouth 
  • Bold flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Pan-fried or grilled. This versatile fish stays firm when cooked. Bass can even be cooked whole, with or without a salt crust 

Add to cart

Cod

Cod

  • Lean fish with a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture 
  • Mild and slightly sweet flavour 
  • Suggested cooking methods: Pan-fried or oven-roasted. Great in sauce-based dishes such as stews and curries. Can also be breaded to make nuggets or fish and chips–style fish

Add to cart

Haddock

Haddock

  • Lean, white fish with a flaky texture similar to cod 
  • Delicate and slightly sweet flavour

Suggested cooking methods: Pan-fried or oven-roasted. Great in sauce-based dishes such as stews and curries. Can also be breaded to make nuggets or fish and chips–style fish

Add to cart

Sole

Sole

  • Lean, white, boneless fish with a tender, delicate texture 
  • Delicate and subtle flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Oven-roasted with seasonings, poached, or steamed 

Add to cart

Turbot

Turbot

  • White fish with medium fat content that flakes coarsely 
  • Delicate and refined flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Baked in foil, pan-fried, or poached 

Add to cart

Truite

Trout

  • Fatty white fish with a flaky and moist texture
  • Mild flavour 
  • Suggested cooking methods: Oven-roasted, pan-fried, or grilled 

Add to cart

FIRM FISH

Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin

  • Very firm fish with a meaty, steak-like texture
  • Bold and pronounced flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Pan-fried over high heat or grilled on the barbecue since flesh stays firm

Add to cart

Tilapia

Tilapia

  • White fish with medium fat content and a flaky texture 
  • Mild and slightly sweet flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Can be oven-roasted, pan-fried, baked in foil, or steamed 

Add to cart

Salmon

Salmon

  • Fatty, pink fish
  • Bold and succulent flavour
  • Suggested cooking methods: Lends itself to a variety of preparations: oven-roasted, pan-fried, baked in foil, or grilled 

Add to cart

Mahi-Mahi

Mahi-Mahi

  • Lean, firm fish with a flakey and tender texture 
  • Taste ranging from mild to slightly bold 
  • Suggested cooking methods: Pan-fried over high heat or grilled on the barbecue since flesh stays firm 

Add to cart

Halibut

Halibut

  • Lean, white, flaky, and tender fish with meaty texture 
  • Delicate and subtle flavour 
  • Suggested cooking methods: Lends itself to a variety of preparations: oven-roasted, pan-fried, or grilled

Add to cart

Tuna

Tuna

  • Dark pink, fatty, and firm fish with a meaty texture 
  • Taste ranging from mild to slightly bold 
  • Suggested cooking methods: Pan-fried over high heat or grilled on the barbecue since flesh stays firm 

Add to cart

Cooking tips