In Switzerland we often used to steam fish, but then we saw that in Mediterranean cuisine, fish is often cooked at high temperatures, for example on the grill. Having begun to use high temperatures, however, we’ve noticed that they don’t work well for all types of fish. Marcel Skibba, head chef at IGNIV in St. Moritz and a V-ZUG ambassador, gives us the lowdown on three different ways of cooking fish:
Season the fillet of fish, baste with olive oil or nut butter and wrap in cling film. Set the steam cooker to steam at 55 °C and cook the fish for 8 to 10 minutes depending on its thickness, turning halfway through.
If you don’t have a steam cooker, you can still use this method in the oven with dry heat rather than steam. To do so, preheat the oven to 70 °C. You will need to cook the fish for a little longer with this method. Incidentally, even cheaper varieties of cling film will withstand temperatures up to 100 °C. This cooking method is suitable for all types of fish but is particularly good for char and salmon.
Season the fish fillet, then place a little fat (clarified butter or flavoured oil), about three fingers in width, into a frying pan and heat to 55 °C. Place the fish into the fat and cook for 8 to 10 minutes depending on its thickness, turning halfway through. This cooking method is particularly suited to fish such as scorpion fish, red mullet and even trout, but Skibba doesn’t recommend it for fish with red flesh.
Season the fish fillet, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and place the fish into the pan. Add a tablespoon of shallot brunoise and 100 ml of Noilly Prat vermouth or dry white wine. Cover the frying pan and remove it from the heat. Allow the fish to steam fry for around 8 to 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan. Reduce the remaining liquid slightly, whisk in a little butter and then glaze the fish. With this method you also get a sauce without having to cook it separately.
The cooking methods described above are all gentle, but they don’t provide that roasted flavour. If that’s something you can’t do without, all you need to do is brown a little butter in a frying pan and then cook the fish in it for a few seconds to give it colour.