Braised fish is essentially fish meat that has been prepared through the method of braising. Also called pot roasting, braising is a slow cooking method that is believed to have originated in France. Although braising is best when done on hard meats, it is also equally effective when used for softer meats like chicken and fish. When a fish is braised, it is cooked to perfection with added flavor and aromas. When carried out correctly, the method of braising makes food delicious.
A fish that is braised is not only delectable but also packed with nutrients. Fish is one of the healthiest meats and its consumption is greatly encouraged. Cooking methods like frying add fats and calories to the meat but braising keeps it light and healthy.
All fish meats from fillets and whole fish to steaks are prepared via the method of braising. While almost all fish can be braised, experts insist that the larger and firmer a fish, the better. Soft fillets like cod and catfish can easily fall apart during the cooking process. If, however, a small fillet has to be braised, the cooking time should be reduced.
Common Ingredients Used in Preparation of Braised Fish
When prepared in the traditional form, braised fish is made from fish, butter, stock and salt. No other additional ingredients are used. Based on individual preferences and the recipe being followed, however, additions can be made in terms of herbs, spices, seasoning agents and vegetables.
While the Chinese braised fish in garlic and chili calls for the use of aromatic garlic and flavorful chilies, the Vietnamese fish braised in clay pot (Ca Kho To) has its own distinct set of ingredients. Other popular regional recipes that have additional recipes are Asian Bok Choy, Cuban-style braised fish and fish braised Hunan-style.
How to Braise Fish?
Braising fish is fairly easy, owning to the softness of the meat. The preparation time is about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
The fish fillets to be used for braised fish are first put in a pan with very little liquid or sauce with a dense concentration. The pan is covered and the cooking begins. The fish is simmered slowly till it is done. While the fish sometimes sits in the pan on a bed of herbs and vegetables, the traditional recipe does not call for these ingredients. Once the fish is cooked, the pan is uncovered and the fish is cooked for some more time, this time in its own liquid.
Fish Braising Trivia
En papillote, or the method of cooking fillets in packages made of parchment paper is considered one of the best ways to braise fish.
In order to make it easier and more convenient to cook braised fish, the fillet is usually seared before the actual preparation process begins.