Treating Fish Like Other Proteins in Recipes

In the colloquial sense, fish is often thought of as meat; however, in a culinary sense, fish is treated differently from meat. Meat is the muscle of land animals and sometimes shellfish. Fish, however, is considered a separate category. That also means that fish is cooked differently. However, it doesn’t always have to be. There are certain cooking processes and certain kinds of fish that actually benefit from being treated like any other protein in a recipe. So, here are a few ways to treat fish like any other protein and diversify your recipe repertoire.

Tuna Steak

A tuna steak is a delightfully meaty piece of fish already. It doesn’t flake apart like some other kinds of fish. This means that it is denser than other kinds of fish and contains slightly less water. Therefore, it can stand up to high heat. If you are looking to diversify what you eat, you should consider treating a tuna steak the same way you would treat a beef steak. You should find a thick cut of tuna from a fishmonger in Richmond. They will provide you with quality tuna.

If you like to marinate your steak, you can do so with your tuna steak; however, many have found that steak is best when it is simply treated with salt and pepper and little else. Let that sit for long enough that the salt dissolves into the moisture of the steak. Then heat up a cast iron skillet to a high temperature. Drop in a pat of butter and then the steak itself. Let the steak sit for only a minute or so.

You’ll know it is ready to flip because the surface will caramelise and release from the pan. Flip it over and begin to spoon butter over the top. Once you have a good sear on the top and bottom, it’s only a matter of deciding how done you want your steak to be on the inside.

Fish Burgers

On the other end of the spectrum from steak are burgers. They are made from ground beef typically, but you can grind pretty much any protein you want to make a burger. Turkey and chicken burgers have grown popular recently, for example. If you wanted, you could create burgers using fish as well.

The key to making fish into a burger is to remove as much moisture as possible. To do that, you need to grind the fish first. You can grind the fish pretty easily by chopping it with a chef’s knife. If you don’t trust your knife skills, you could use a food processor. Once it is chopped as fine as you’d like it to be, you should use paper towels or cloth towels to remove the moisture. If you are in a hurry, you can roll it with a rolling pin or press it with your hand. Alternately, you can let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to dry out. That will help it hold together as a patty.

If you’re still having trouble keeping it together as a patty, you can use eggs or breadcrumbs to hold it together.