The Way You Season Fish Is Probably Causing It To Dry Out

Just like there's more than one way to crack an egg, there's more than one way to cook fish. No matter how you're preparing it, though, one of the most important tips to consider is to season it properly.

According to A Spicy Perspective, deciding on what kind of seasoning to use depends on the kind of fish that you're preparing. Mild white fish like tilapia should be seasoned lightly and with bright flavors that complement the natural flavors in the meat. Most importantly, though, you should not over-season. There's no point in covering up the natural flavors of fresh fish with overly potent seasonings and herbs.

Dense, fleshy fish like salmon or tuna, however, can stand up to stronger flavors and may actually need more seasoning for fattier cuts. In addition, Cook's Illustrated found that fat tends to dull other flavors and needs to be countered with more seasoning when present. Another thing to keep in mind is that even denser fish won't hold up well to long marinade times. Simplemost says that marinating fish for more than an hour can result in a mushy texture, so it's best to keep it simple and short.

Use salt late and lightly

When you season your fish is also important, especially when it comes to salt. One of the worst things you can do is dry the fish out. A Spicy Perspective recommends avoiding overcooking your fish to avoid this issue, but the way that you season the meat can also affect how it turns out. Food & Wine points out that salt actually pulls moisture out of meats; as a result, it's used in abundance and frequently when it comes to seasoning steaks. This is because this meat type has a much higher fat content and denser flesh.

However, when it comes to fish, salt should be used sparingly. Legendary Whitetails says that if you use a marinade, it should have very little salt in it to maintain the meat's texture. It's also recommended that the salt should only be applied late, just before the fish is cooked thoroughly. This will allow the meat to be seasoned and well-flavored without giving the salt time to draw moisture out.