do I cook THAT? - The Marks Trading Company do I cook THAT?

I was inspired by a friend's Facebook post to share some information about cooking fish. After spending over 20 years in the restaurant industry, I sort of take for granted the preparation of food. I am reminded by our friends and customers that they love our products but, they aren't always sure of how to use them. I am going to give you some basic fish preparation methods. There will be some hints for flavoring but, no real recipes in this post. We are making a real effort over the next few weeks to add and update our recipes on the website, so look for those soon! We are also going to be adding additional blog information weekly, such as; preparation information, ingredient details, and Marks Trading Company updates!!

Cooking Fish in the Midwest, especially in the winter, can present some challenges. It is fresh or frozen, is it lake or ocean, will it make my house stink (this would be my wife!) Here are 6 ways to prepare fish, that may or may not bring that wonderful aroma to your kitchen!!

General rules for all 6 methods - avoid over cooking your fish. If you have cooked it until it flakes then it is most likely over cooked and dry. Fish is done when its color goes from translucent to opaque (white) or has reached 140 to 145 degrees F internal temperature. If you buy fresh seafood use it the same day or freeze it within two days.  If your fish is frozen, thaw in the refrigerator over night, then rinse the next day in cold water, drain, and pat dry.


  • Heat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Spray a baking sheet or shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place fish on sheet and season with on our our blends as desired.
  • Bake uncovered for 10 min per inch of thickness or until fish is done.

Saute or Pan Fry

This technique results in food that's crisply tender. Seafood best suited to this technique includes fish fillets, shrimp, bay scallops, and slipper tails. Firm fish, such as cod or halibut.

  • Heat oil or butter in a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Fish may be dipped in milk or beaten egg and then breaded. You can add our spice blends to the breading for some enhanced flavor.
  • Cook fish 4 to 5 minutes per side (per inch of thickness) or until done.

Pan Broil

Thicker cuts, at least 1-inch thick, are best so fish doesn’t become too dry during broiling.

  • Marinade fish for 30 minutes prior to broiling (marinades coming later this week)
  • Broil 3/4 to 1-inch thick fish 4 inches from heat source on an oiled broiler pan.
  • Broil fish about 8 min per inch of thickness
  • Do not turn fish less than 1-inch thick. The bottom and interior will cook as the top browns.
  • Broil thicker fish 5 to 6 inches from heat source and thinner fillets 2 inches from heat source.


Thicker cuts of fish steak (tuna, salmon, halibut or swordfish) grill more successfully than leaner fish. Use a clean, oiled, closely spaced grill grate. Grill pans also work well indoors if you aren't  willing to brave the snow and cold of the winter.

  • You can marinade fish if you chose, just allow about 20-30 minutes prior to grilling.
  • Brush grill grate generously with oil to prevent fish from sticking; grate should be 4 to 6 inches from heat source.
  • Place fish on grill rack in a single layer.
  • You can season your fish at this time if you choose with one of our blends.
  • For direct heat method, cook fish 4 to 6 minutes per side (per inch of thickness) over medium to medium-high heat or until done.
  • For indirect heat method, place fish on grate over cool side of grill and cook 15 minutes with lid closed. Or sear fish on grate over heat, then move to cool side of grill to finish cooking.


Almost any fish may be gently cooked in heated liquid, such as wine, water, fish stock, or milk.

  • Pour just enough liquid to cover the fish.
  • Cover the pan tightly and cook fillets just below the boiling point.
  • Cook fillets 8 to 10 minutes and whole fish 15 to 20 minutes.
  • The poaching liquid may be used as the base for a sauce. 

Deep Fry

Fish 1/2-inch thick is ideal for this method. Oil temperature is also very important as well. Make sure you have a thermometer to ensure proper temperature.

  • Heat enough vegetable or canola oil to 350 to 375°F to allow the fish to float once it's done.
  • Cut thicker fish into smaller chunks so fish will cook in the time it takes to brown.
  • Sprinkle fillets lightly with flour. Dip in beaten egg. Coat with your favorite breading. You can also add one of our blends to your breading for added flavor!
  • Cook 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Make sure pieces do not touch while frying. This could create steam, which causes a "soggy" coating.
  • Drain on paper towel before serving.


I hope these guidelines will give you a good start on your fish cooking adventures. As your skill levels increase you can experiment with plank cooking and smoking.