OG had a nice post on fish cookery a while back and I wanted to weigh in for those who find fish cookery to be difficult or frustrating. The simplest way I know is pan-roasting, with a few caveats. 1) Pan has to be hot; 2) oil has to be neutral, I keep a small container of grapeseed oil just for fish; 3) Oven has to be preheated; 4) Fish must be 1+ inches thick.
Last night, I pan-roasted a nice halibut fillet that was superb, so here are my tips…Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash, trim, and dry your fish. Dry that sucker well! If you are planning on eating the skin, I would recommend the technique used in the French Laundry. Turn your chef’s knife over and use like a squeegy (sp?) lightly brushing the skin in one direction and mopping off the moisture that results. It really is amazing how much water you can remove this way. I like to go one further and set the fish on a wire rack in the fridge for 30 minutes to further dry the surface. Next, heat your pan over medium-high heat. Season your fish. Since I was doing an Asian theme; salt, pepper, & Chinese 5 spice. Add enough oil to the pan to coat the bottom & heat until shimmering. Add fish presentation side down and cook for 5 minutes without disturbing (you may tilt the pan to redistribute the oil). Flip filet and transfer to the preheated oven for 8 minutes or up to 10 minutes if the fish is thick. Serve as you will.
Last night, I served over soba noodle with David Chang’s scallion-ginger sauce (the Momofuku dude). The sauce was a huge hit and I would dare say, may be addictive.
2 bunches of finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup finely minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp lite soy sauce
3/4 tsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp salt