We've all heard of English Fish'n'chips or Japanese sushi. However, fish is cooked all around the world in a wide variety of ways.
In French cuisine, the best dishes are often the simplest, but because of that – surprisingly sophisticated. This is also the case with meunière sole. Fresh fish, butter, lemon, parsley – just that and so much more if we manage to get the proportions right and good quality ingredients.
Coat the sole fillets gently in flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Fry the fish on both sides for about 1-2 minutes, until golden brown, and then transfer it to a plate. Wipe out the fat from the pan and melt new butter. Clear the butter, add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper, stir, and then pour the mixture over the fish on the plate. The sole meunière is ready to serve.
Italians love fish and seafood. Their cuisine abounds with fish dishes, soups, salads, appetizers, ragout, risotto, stuffed baked fish and fried fillets. If you need inspiration on how to cook fish, Italians are sure to provide it. There is no shortage of recipes for different pastas with fish, so let's reach for the one we associate most with Italy: pasta with tomato sauce.
Start with the garlic, which we sauté in a pan. Add the anchovies to it, stirring quickly for 30 seconds so that they break down. Pour in the white wine, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. Heat, stirring occasionally, until a fairly thick sauce forms. Season the white fish and add to the sauce along with the capers. Cook until the fish is tender and can be cut into large pieces. When it is done, add the penne pasta prepared earlier. Put on the plates.
In Scandinavian countries, gravlax (or gravad lax), or cured raw salmon, is very popular. The name literally means buried salmon, as the fish used to be buried in sea sand.
Nowadays, it is simply salt, which is mixed with dill, sugar and pepper. Sometimes other ingredients are added, such as alcohol (vodka, gin or brandy), lemon or other citrus peel, tea, mixed juniper berries or beets.
Rub the ready mixture neatly over the salmon. Place the fish in a dish and press with something heavy - you can wrap it with foil or gauze and press with a stone or a tray with cans. Keep the salmon like this for 24-72 hours, turning the flaps every 12 hours or so. The salt during this time will draw the water out of the fish and it will take on a beautiful, deep color.
Cut the ready gravlax into thin slices. Serve with mustard and dill sauce on bread or with boiled potatoes and enjoy the deep, rich flavour.
Kedgeree is an example of a typical British dish - as long as we remember that Great Britain was once an empire in which variations on local dishes from the colonies were readily created, not necessarily having much in common with the original.
The first recipe for kedgeree, a one-pot dish of smoked fish and rice, appeared in British cookbooks as early as 1790. It is believed to have been invented by soldiers of the British army or civil servants once stationed in India, longing for the local flavors. Interestingly, in Victorian times, when it first gained popularity, kedgeree was served for breakfast. We, however, suggest it more as a dinner dish.
We start by boiling an egg soft or semi-hard. Then put smoked fish, such as mackerel, and bay leaf in a deep pan; sprinkle with turmeric, pour in milk and water. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, until the fish is tender and separates into pieces. Then take it out..
Heat the butter and oil in a pot. Glaze chopped onion. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder. Stir and fry for 2 minutes. Add rinsed rice, stir and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the liquid from cooking the fish and cover the pot. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the fish and stir gently. Turn out onto plates and add the egg halves. Sprinkle with coriander..
Chowder is one of the most important soups in Anglo-Saxon cuisine. Its history began with sailors and fishermen - it is a nutritious, simple soup. And since its basic feature was the use of available ingredients, chowder functions in many variants (sometimes even non-fish and, for example, corn). Many regions in America pride themselves on their traditional, local version.
Usually we start preparing chowder by frying bacon and onion (in a vegetarian version bacon can be replaced by sun-dried tomatoes). Pour in fish stock prepared earlier or throw in fish and pour in water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Add vegetables (e.g. potatoes, leek, carrots) and spices (a couple of bay leaves, allspice; there may also be smoked paprika and/or chilli). Cook for half an hour or more until the vegetables are tender. Pour cream or milk. Stir. You can also add shrimps or mussels, in which case the soup should be cooked for a while until the shrimps turn pink. Serve with bread.
Veracruz was the first place in Mexico where the Spanish established a colony. Even today, many remnants of Mediterranean cuisine can be seen in the local dishes.
This is also the case with Pescado a la Veracruzana, which is simply Veracruz-style fish. We start by browning the garlic in olive oil. Then we add the tomatoes and onions. We cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add green olives, capers, oregano and some chilli. Continue cooking for another 20 minutes. While cooking, fry the fish. Place the fish on a plate and pour over the sauce.
Alternatively, you can bake the fish. Place the dressed fish or fillets in an ovenproof dish. Pour a marinade of two teaspoons of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. Prepare the sauce according to the recipe, but after adding the olives and the rest of the ingredients cook only a few minutes and then pour it over the fish. Bake for about half an hour, turning the fish once to the other side.
Although ceviche is Peru's flagship dish, many Latin American countries are fighting for the title of its homeland. This appetizer of fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juice is very popular on that continent. No wonder – it is easy to prepare, refreshing and invigorating.
As always when there are multiple locations competing for one dish, there are different variants of ceviche that use different toppings. This can include peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes or avocados – in any configuration.
For ceviche we always use fresh and well cleaned sea fish, such as cod, sole or salmon. All the ingredients, both fish and additions, are chopped into small pieces. Make sure that the pieces of fish are the same size – then they will marinate at the same pace. Also pay attention to the right proportions of fish and lime and/or lemon juice (about 150 ml of juice per 500 g of fish).
Ceviche is prepared shortly before serving. Mix the citrus juice with salt, chili pepper and olive oil in a jar. Place the fish into the marinade and mix. The smaller the cubes, the faster the fish will be ready – even after 10-20 minutes. How can you tell? Under the influence of the citrus juice the fish will "cook" in the cold and turn white; it should also be white inside.
When the fish is ready, mix it with previously chopped additions and serve the ceviche prepared this way, for example with nachos.
When we think of fish and Japan, sushi is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Meanwhile, as an island society, the Japanese have plenty of ways to prepare fish.
One of them is a sweet teriyaki marinade based on soy sauce, mirin rice wine and sugar (in Poland you can buy ready-made teriyaki in oriental stores and some supermarkets or prepare your own version using soy sauce, sweet alcohol such as sherry and honey). Sprinkle relatively thin fish fillets with a little flour and spread evenly. Heat the fat in a frying pan and fry the fillets for about 3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove the fish, and heat the teriyaki in the pan. When it starts to boil, put the fillets back in and pour the sauce over each side. When the liquid has thickened, the fish is ready to serve. It can be served with vegetables and rice.
If the fish has a more intense taste, it is worth keeping it in the marinade for about half an hour before frying..
If you like quick dishes and oriental flavors, laksa is the soup for you. It is derived from Nyonya cuisine also known as Paranekan - descendants of Chinese immigrants from a few centuries ago who settled in Singapore and Malaysia, among other places, and who formed families with local Malays. Thanks to their ancestry, they have combined the best of Chinese and Malay cuisine.
Laksa is made from a paste of the same name (you can get it in oriental stores and some supermarkets or prepare it yourself). Fry it and add broth – it can be fish broth but any other kind will do. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and cook for another few minutes. Then add the fish – cod is great for this – and heat for 2-4 minutes. If you like prawns, add them after the fish and cook for a while until they turn pink. Then put the udon or rice noodles into a bowl and pour gently over the soup. On the top you can add for example bean sprouts or fresh cucumber and coriander..
Fish chops are a typical Thai street delicacy, which in no way resembles our European, usually quite bland, fish chops. In addition, it is extremely simple – the ingredients land in a blender, then in the pan and voila! Done.
Put the white fish, garlic, lime zest and juice, ginger, egg white, coriander and a few spoonfuls each of sweet and spicy sauce and soy sauce into a blender. Mix to a smooth paste, from which form chops. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve with sweet and spicy sauce and a salad of fresh vegetables such as cucumber and radishes.