You May Want To Think Twice Before Adding Cream Sauce To Fish

Fish is a tricky protein for many people to cook. There are so many types of fish, but there's no one-size-fits-all way to cook them. Instead, there's a multitude of methods and techniques, including the bizarre dishwasher hack, which involves cooking your fish while washing your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Ahi tuna steak should be seared or grilled, but not enough that the inside cooks. HuffPost notes that flakey fish like bass should never be grilled, due to the delicate texture that makes it easy to fall apart. There are some tried and true tips to cook fish properly, including removing excess moisture from the fish before cooking and seasoning it correctly.

The tips are certainly helpful in preparing and cooking the fish, but some pitfalls can occur. Food & Wine warns against touching the fish too much and seasoning the fish at the beginning of the cook. One of the most egregious mistakes to make when cooking fish, however, has more to do with the sauce and less with the cooking method.

Let the fish shine

According to Food & Wine, one of the most common mistakes when cooking fish is adding cream to the dish. Chef Roberto Bellitti even went so far as to say, "Cream sauce with fish is just wrong." 

Fish is inherently delicate and its mild flavor is best complemented by using lighter sauces. Chef Bellitti suggests pairing fish with citrus-flavored sauces like lemon, lime, and orange. Most fish have a natural sweetness that pairs well with mild sauces that do not overpower the flavor. A slightly salty or even sour sauce helps amplify the fish's natural flavor, without overpowering it. If you're going to spend the time and money cooking fish, you should be able to taste the fish's natural flavor.

Along with lighter sauces, fish and fresh herbs are a match made in heaven. One tip when cooking with fish is to use fresh herbs. Seasoned Pioneers suggests pairing fish with dill, tarragon, and parsley. A traditional Argentinian sauce that pairs great with fish is chimichurri (via Insanely Good Recipes). Chimichurri is an herb sauce made with cilantro, parsley, garlic, olive oil, lime, and seasoning. It's flavorful enough to elevate the fish but mild enough to let the fish be the star. So skip the cream sauce and try one of these alternatives instead.