Fish is a good source of protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fish regularly may lower your risk for heart disease, and health professionals recommend eating it at least once or twice a week. Deep frying and pan frying fish are probably two of the worst options for cooking fish…but what are the best options? These five methods are the healthiest ways to cook your fish while still retaining its nutritional value, so choose which one works the best for you and your diet, time, and available kitchen equipment. We tried to rank the methods from worst to best, but they are all pretty darn healthy to be honest.
Grilling and Broiling
This method involves applying dry heat to your fish at very high temperatures. Grilling heats your fish from below, and broiling from above. That is the only difference. This is a quick way to cook fish without adding any fat. Try to keep the cooking time as short as possible, add a marinade, and avoid charring.
This is the fastest method, so if you’re short on time or making a quick lunch in the office, this is the best one for you. It is also a low-temperature way to cook fish. Most of the nutrients are kept preserved, especially the healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
When baking, the fish is heated in a dry method in an oven. This may be a better way to maintain the vitamin D content of the fish, and less omega-3 fatty acids are lost baking than microwaving. However, you do need to use oil to provide moisture and prevent sticking, so try extra virgin olive oil and use minimal amounts.
Sous vide is French for “under vacuum.” The fish is placed inside a sealed pouch and cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath, much like in the film, Burnt, with Bradley Cooper. Remember? This method is extremely low-temp, and the fish is cooked over a very long period of time. There is no loss of moisture and the process is tightly regulated. Less omega-3 fatty acids are lost here than in baking.
Poaching and Steaming
Poaching involves submerging your fish in water, while steaming uses hot, vaporized water to cook the fish. Neither way adds fat or oil to the fish, so there are no extra calories. This method cooks the fish at a lower temperature, so there is definitely no loss of nutrients. The healthy omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish are kept the most preserved with this method.