8 Essential Tools You Need for Cooking Fish at Home

Fish is delicious and such a versatile source of protein, but cooking it at home can feel like it needs a special occasion to go to the extra effort. It doesn’t have a fridge-life as long as meats such as chicken or beef, and it can be tricky to get it looking like a fish dish at your favourite restaurant.

If you’ve been inspired by the delicious fish dishes in the recent series of Celebrity MasterChef, then you’ll also need to have right tools to get the fish prepped and cooked properly.

From a fail-proof spatula to the best skillet for super-crispy skin, these are the tools and equipment we turn to when preparing fish at home.

Fish Spatula

A thin, flexible spatula is an essential tool for cooking fish. No other tool will slide under the delicate skin of a sizzling fillet quite so effortlessly. 

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is vital when cooking fish en papillote, a technique that involves wrapping fish, aromatics and a touch of white wine and butter in a paper parcel and baking in the oven. It’s a failsafe way to prepare fish at home and helps mitigate the stinky fish smell for small and not-so-well ventilated kitchens.

Fillet Knife

Whether you're breaking down your own fish at home, or need to separate a fillet from the skin, you'll need the best knife for the job.

Plastic Cutting Board

When prepping raw ingredients, whether fish, meat, or vegetables, a plastic cutting board, with rubber pads to stop is lipping, is far more sanitary than a wooden chopping board. Ensure you have different plastic chopping boards to ensure meat, veg, and fish do not contaminate each other.

Nonstick Skillet

Whether you're crisping up the skin on a piece of salmon or pan-frying breaded fillets, you'll need a reliable nonstick skillet. Nonstick skillets are both highly functional and good-looking enough to bring to the table.

Grill Pan

Grill pans are ideal for delicate foods such as fish that could otherwise fall between the grates on a grill. 

Steamer Basket

Steaming has become popular again in recent years, and it’s a great way of preparing a whole fish, giving you delicately cooked, flaky, tender, and moist fish every time. 

All you need is a pot of simmering water and a bamboo or metal steamer basket. Both options will give you similar results, with a bamboo basket absorbing a little more moisture and a metal one getting a little hotter on the bottom.

Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

If you’re keen on high-tech kitchen gadgets, then this piece of kit will allow you to cook your fish sous vide. Some people might be a little intimidated by the technique, but it is far easier to do at home than you might think.

You'll need a pot of water, BPA-free resealable plastic bags, and an immersion circulator. The immersion circulator controls the temperature of your water bath, so you don't run the risk of overcooking your fish. 

You can flavour the fish by adding olive oil, butter, or aromatics like garlic, ginger, and fresh herbs to the bag with the fish. Want crispy skin? Just give it a quick sear in a hot pan with oil after it has been sous vide.

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