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  • The Chopping Blog

How I Became Brave Enough to Cook Fish

Posted by Kelly on Sep 2, 2015

I am a forgetful person. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to overcome it. No matter how many post it notes I make or how many ‘reminder’ apps I download for my phone, I will forget something.

So it was no surprise when I realized I had forgotten my lunch one day last week. This isn’t too much of a concern at The Chopping Block because we sometimes have incredible treats such as leftovers from a private cooking party or chef experiments (like Chef Carrie’s grilled cheese).

But on this particular day, I had no such luck. Just as I was about to run and grab a sandwich somewhere, a colleague pointed out that we had some fish in the fridge.

Both of our locations are drop off points for a wonderful local business called Hooked on Fish. Hooked on Fish is a weekly delivery service committed to providing you a variety of tasty, fresh fish to bring right to your table. If you’re interested in signing up for the program you can go to their website or just talk to one of us at The Chopping Block! We’ll give you more information.

The wonderful people at Hooked on Fish occasionally leave us with a few extra pieces of fish to try ourselves and it’s often a first come first serve deal with the employees. So I jumped at this chance for a healthy, free lunch and decided to have some fish!

The fish that was featured this week (it changes weekly) was Canadian Organic Steelhead. Steelhead has a lot of the same attributes as salmon does. It’s low in fat and high in protein. Everything I like my fish to be.

But here's the kicker: I hate cooking fish. I am terrified of it. Fish is a food that can become overcooked very easily, and my least favorite thing in the world is undercooked fish… so I tend to overcook it whenever I do cook it. But I was determined to make something edible for my lunch.

After consulting with some of our chefs, I decided to take the simple route. I would make a lemon garlic butter to brush over the filet, then sear it in a pan. I got half a lemon, two slivers of garlic, and a nice chunk of butter.


I melted it all together in a small sauce pan. Already I was getting excited. My three favorite smells in the kitchen are lemon, garlic, and butter. I was in heaven.

I heated up a pan and began brushing the butter mixture onto the fish.


I had leftover butter so I went ahead and added it to the pan with some extra butter.


Once all the butter was melted and bubbling, I slid the fish, skin side down, onto the pan. Already I heard that wonderful crackling sound that meant the skin was getting crispy, and the fish was cooking nicely.


I did just a couple minutes on each side and slid it onto the plate.


I was nervous to take my first bite as I had never had success cooking fish. But I was confident that with all the support I had in the kitchen, this couldn’t possibly be bad.

And I was right.

I haven’t had fish this good since I was little when my mother would cook fish for us. The lemon made it a light lunch choice, while the garlic satisfied my need for something with depth. As much as I wanted to devour the whole fish myself, I just had to share with my coworkers. They all had a bite and agreed that it was a perfectly well cooked piece of fish. Perhaps they weren’t as excited as me, but they didn’t have flashbacks to their kitchen of throwing away expensive fish because it wasn’t cooked properly. I am confident to say now that this has just begun my culinary journey of exploring fish!

If you want to learn how to cook fish properly, check out these upcoming cooking classes Seafood on the Grill, Margaritaville or Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals.

Our Owner/Chef Shelley Young also just shot a video on how to skin and portion fish, so check out her technique for portioning that gives you a more evenly cooked piece of fish.

 For more how to cook videos, check out our online video library.videos cta



Topics: seafood, fish, Cooking Techniques

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