Perfectly cooked fish is moist and has a delicate flavor - overcooking is the most prevalent cooking error. Fish is done when the flesh has just begun to turn from translucent to opaque and is firm but still moist. It should flake easily when tested with a fork.
The 10-Minute Rule or Canadian Cooking Method is one way to cook fish by conventional methods including grilling, broiling, poaching, steaming, sautéing, microwaving, en papillotte, planking, and baking (at 400F to 450F). Here is how to use the 10 Minute Rule:
- Measure the fish at its thickest point. If the fish is stuffed or rolled, measure it after stuffing or rolling.
- Cook fish about 10 minutes per inch, turning it halfway through the cooking time. For example, a 1-inch fish steak should be cooked 5 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes. Pieces less than 1/2 inch thick do not have to be turned over. Test for doneness. Flake with a fork. Fish should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
- Add 5 minutes to the total cooking time for fish cooked in foil or in sauce.
- Double the cooking time for frozen fish that has not been defrosted. Use this rule as a general guideline since fillets often don’t have uniform thickness.