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Which Seasonings For Which Fish?

Photo courtesy of Art of Catering.

Which Seasonings For Which Fish?

By Chef Selwyn Richards
Culinary Specialist

Chef Selwyn RichardsAnyone, who enjoys eating fish, knows that you can’t use the same seasonings for every type of fish.

Some fish have a stronger flavor that might need more intense seasoning, while other fish is mild and needs delicate seasoning to taste its best.

Consider the following, when trying to figure out which seasonings go best with which fish.

  • Basil is a great choice of seasoning to use when preparing fish. There are a number of varieties of basil, and each will lend a subtle difference in flavor. Halibut, mackerel, salmon and tuna are all good fish to season with basil.
  • Cayenne is a pungent flavor that can be added to soups, stews or when grilling fish. Salmon and trout are often paired with cayenne, as long as the seasoning is mixed with flour and the fish fried. The strength of the seasoning means you’ll only need a small amount.
  • Chervil is the perfect choice, when you desire a subtle flavor. Quite often chervil is used along with tarragon, chives and parsley. Use chervil when preparing sole or when preparing seasonings for poaching any type of fish.
  • Photo courtesy of The Art of Catering.

    Photo courtesy of The Art of Catering.

    Chives have a slight onion flavor that is delicate. However, because of its delicate nature, chives aren’t used during cooking. They are best used as a garnish. Fish that are enhanced, by using chives, are salmon, as well as fish stews, fish soups or for garnishing.

  • Dill is another seasoning that has a strong flavor. Halibut, salmon, sole and trout all have the strength of flavor to be paired with dill — and not be overwhelmed.
  • Fennel is used for all fish in English recipes. Cod is often prepared with fennel, as well as the seasoning being added when poaching fish.
  • Marjoram can be found in fish chowders or fish sauces. Halibut and salmon would be well-paired with this herb.
  • Summer Savory has a flavor similar to sage and is used when preparing halibut, salmon and sole.
  • Tarragon is often used when preparing several different fish. Halibut, salmon and sole are some of the fish that would be good choices, if you enjoy the flavor of tarragon.
  • Thyme is commonly used in preparing fish. You will often taste this seasoning on cod, halibut and snapper fish.

Even though these seasonings are commonly used on fish, there’s no reason you can’t try other seasonings, as well. You may want to add garlic and lemon, or try out some seasonings and herbs you may not think of, as traditionally used with fish. When trying to decide which seasoning is right for which fish, let your taste buds be your guide.

Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: selwyn@theartofcatering.com or by phone — (905) 619-1059.

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