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12 Biggest Mistakes People Make While Cooking Seafood

by Nikolai Nikitenko March 15, 2016

12 Biggest Mistakes People Make While Cooking Seafood

For those of us who have practiced and maintained our skills in the culinary arts some of these tips may come out to be obvious, if not foolish. But we have to remember that not everyone may have the skills or practice in cooking seafood as others. So if this blog comes out to be absolutely obvious, then it is not for you. This blog is made for the people out there who want to improve their culinary skills and for those who wish to learn how to become an awesome chef! So let us learn about what we may be doing wrong, so that we can learn to be better next time!
1.) You Boil Instead of Simmer
When you are cooking seafood it is important to remember that there are so many ways of preparing a fillet of salmon that it can drive you mad. One of those ways can be to poach the fish. In poaching you simmer your liquid stock so that you slowly cook the fish all the way through. Yet allot of people like to crank up the heat and try to get the cooking done faster. I do not recommend doing that! The results will be that the intense heat will cause the outside of the fish to cook far faster than the inside and it will start falling apart. This will not only ruin the look but can affect the flavor. So remember, when you require low heat, use low heat. It’s not a race!

2.) You Don’t Taste As You Go

Big Mistake! How do you know whether or not you require more salt, pepper, etc? What if you messed up your sauce? You put it all together and in the end it tastes like garbage. It is possible you missed something in the beginning. If you would have tasted something you could have made adjustments earlier, but not it is going in the trash. That small taste can be the difference between disaster and perfection!

3.) You Don’t Measure 

This should be obvious but sadly enough not everyone pays attention to how much of what goes into their dish. Without measuring 1 teaspoon of salt can quite easily become 3 tablespoons. You will ruin a dish if you do not measure. Sure you can adjust measurements to your liking, but always measure!

4.) You Overcrowd the Pan

Use the proper sized pan for whatever you are doing at all times! If you have too much going on in there all at once then it can lead to a disaster! You will have some food burn, some food undercooked and it will be a total mess. This is important in cooking seafood especially! As you do not want half raw seafood or even meat in that matter! Be prepared! Use the proper size cookware for the job.

5.) You Turn the Food Too Often!
Flip flop, flip flop. Do you find yourself flipping your fish more than once? Then you are doing it wrong. This is important when cooking seafood, steaks, chicken or any type of meat. You must learn to let the food sit on the pan long enough to get a good sear on one side and for it to cook nicely as well and then flip it on the heat source only once. Other wise you mess with the whole internals of the food and you will mess up the sear. This is especially important if you are using a breading.

6.) You Don’t heat the pan

Sometimes the first step can pave the way for the end result. If you do not heat the pan then you will destroy the dish before it even had a chance. Your food will stick to the pan regardless of how much oil you use. You will kill the sear. Everything about this will simply take the life our of the food you are cooking. So what you must do is place the plan on the heat source and let it heat up and then do you add any oils and only after the oils warm up do you then add everything else. Try this and you will see a dramatic change in how your food comes out.

7.) You Don’t Thaw Frozen Seafood

This is probably the biggest killer and worst thing you can do. You take a frozen fillet and just plop it into the hot frying pan with hot oil. You might as well just throw out your food, cookware and kitchen. If you still do this then by all means stop. As your seafood melts in the pan the glaze will dilute the oil in the pan making it guaranteed that everything will stick. Then the seafood will still slowly thaw from outside in. In the end you will have fish that is burnt to a crisp in the outside and absolutely raw on the inside. Thaw your seafood in the refrigerator for 2 hours before cooking it!

8.) You Cook Your Meats and Seafood Right Out Of The Fridge

This is more common and more understandable than Number 7 above, but it is still something you should avoid. Let your meats and seafood sit for 15-30 minutes in room temperature before cooking it. Otherwise you will once again struggle to cook the inside without burning the outside. Do not worry. 15-30 minutes is not nearly enough time for any contaminants to grow.

9.) You Put All The Salt In The Breading

This is a common mistake as well. Sure your breading or sauce or whatever you make will taste nice. But the main ingredient (your fish, meat, chicken) will be completely under-seasoned and bland. No matter how much sauce you use, you must always season the meat or fish.

10.) You Don’t Know When To Give Up
Your fish is completely burnt, the sauce tastes like old socks and the smell is just awful. Yet you won’t give up. Don’t do that. Sure it doesn’t feel good, but when all things fail just dump it. Trying to impress a girl with a god awful home cooked meal won’t give you any credit. It is time to start again or go with take out. It’s ok. Doesn’t mean you can never be a good cook. We have all been there.

11.) You Use Only Cheap Ingredients

And you wonder why the food tastes cheap?

12.) You Use The Wrong Ingredients

Experimenting can be good if you want to try and get something exactly how you like it. But remember; baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable. This mostly happens with baking but it can be an issue when cooking seafood.




Nikolai Nikitenko
Nikolai Nikitenko

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