How Slow Roasting Can Keep You From Overcooking Fish
If you typically fret about overcooking your fish fillets, this easy, reliable method is for you.
One of the worries about seafood I hear most often is “How do I keep from overcooking my fish?” My answer? Cook it at a lower temperature.
Thanks to the low heat, it takes a while to go from raw to cooked, but that also means it takes a while to go from cooked to overcooked. Slowly applying a gentle heat yields fish that is delicately textured and full of natural juices.
When the fish flakes apart under gentle pressure of your thumb, it’s done. Unlike other cooking methods, the color of the fish does not change as drastically, but have confidence that if it flakes, it is cooked.
The “5-Minute Rule” gives you more guidance: For 1/2-inch-thick fillets at 300°F, check for doneness after 10 minutes; for 3/4-inch-thick fillets at the same temperature, assess after 15 minutes; for 1-inch-thick fillets, 20 minutes; and for anything larger, add another 5 minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness.
You'll find most of the ingredients for this classic Italian-style salad in your kitchen.
Not only does this method alleviate those overcooking fears, it also gives you time to pull together the rest of the meal. The relaxed pace also allows for (what I think is) the best part of this recipe—a glass of wine for the cook. Slow-roasting can be used for a variety of species ranging from flounder to the perennial favorite, salmon, and it yields custard-like halibut.
Try It: Slow-Roasted Halibut With Herb Salad
The rich, buttery flavor and firm, flaky texture of halibut shine in this recipe. Chervil is a delicious herb that would be lovely in the salad, but it’s not readily available; parsley is a fine substitute. Take this recipe to the next level by putting fresh herbs and lemon slices under the fillets while you cook them in the oven to perfume the fish.
View the recipe: Slow-Roasted Halibut with Herb Salad
Eating seafood is one of the best ways to a healthier heart. Take the Healthy Heart Pledge to eat #seafood2xWK at seafoodnutritionpartnership.org.
Barton Seaver is chef and director of Harvard’s Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative.