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Mar 10, 2007 07:13 AM

Fish w/o fish smell

My kitchen has very little ventilation, which means I gave up cooking fish years ago. I'd like to start again, but anything on the stovetop definitely is out, as is broiling. Does anybody have suggestions for baked fish recipes that don't come out mushy, as some fish-in-tomato-sauce recipes seem to do for me?

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  1. start with very fresh fish. you can poach it, or bake it in foil for a nicer silkier texture.

    1. fresh fish should not smell, if it does smell it's not fresh. Cooking in parchment paper with herbs and citrus zest is a nice clean method.

      1. If you want to make sure the fish doesnt smell fishy, assuming that it is not spoiling in the first place, soak your fish in milk for about an hour in the fridge and rinse it before cooking.

        3 Replies
        1. re: malibumike

          i can understand draining and drying it, but why rinse flavor down the sink?

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            The milk absorbs the fishy flavor/smell the OP wanted to get rid of, hence the rinsing!

          2. re: malibumike

            I use milk to defrost frozen fish -- it makes the fish taste "fresher" then just defrosting and cooking it does. I think fresh fish shouldn't smell fishy, and if it does I wouldn't buy it.

            I'm not sure the OP is talking about the fishy scent of un-fresh fish though - just the smell of fish cooking in general. And on that note, I second the fish in parchment technique. I also like fish brushed with olive oil or butter and broiled.

          3. Wrapping in foil packets and baking sealed up is a good way to keep everything (flavors, smells) self-contained while cooking. Very flexible technique, can put lots of different veggies and sauces and things in there to meld--and no pots to clean! The "moosewood restaurant cooks at home" cookbook has a few good starting points, for making individual portion packets:

            — Simply put a filet in middle of foil and layer on sliced tomato, scallions, a drizzle of oil, whatever seasonings you like (a chili pepper, citrus, onions, or whatnot)

            -- Put a half cup of cooked rice in center of foil, then layer on some chopped greens, fish filets, and drizzle a sauce sade of soy, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, chili sauce, mirin, vinegar, whatever you want....

            Can use all sorts of different veggies (zucchini, fennel, peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc.) and seasonings (wine and dill, chili/hot sauce, capers, tomato)

            For firm white filets, their recommendation is bake 20 min at 450; that's probably about right if the ingredients are a bit cold when they go in the oven.

            1. Steamed fish has little smell.