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How to Cook the Perfect Piece of Fish

Picture this: you’ve just cooked the perfect piece of fish. You take a bite: the fresh flavors delight your taste buds, the fish is juicy and tender. You did it! You mastered the often tricky art of cooking fish. Sounds impossible? Don’t worry, we’re here to bring that vision to life with Rubio’s Culinary Director, Justin Mosel. He works with our co-founder, Ralph Rubio, to develop the bold and flavorful menu that you know and love! Justin has dedicated the last twelve years to ensure you love each and every bite.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Justin to get his expert tips on cooking the perfect piece of fish.

Here’s what you’ll need to start:

  • Your favorite skillet (any flat bottomed pan will work)
  • Olive Oil
  • Two 5-8oz. pieces of quality seafood: We suggest wild-caught Mahi Mahi, wild-caught Salmon or Atlantic farm raised Salmon
  • Spatula
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thermometer (optional)

Lets Get Cooking.

1: Hear that Sizzle
Once you’ve seasoned your fish with salt and pepper, pour one tablespoon of olive oil into your skillet so the surface has a light coating. Set the temperature on your stove to medium high and give it a couple minutes to warm up. The temperature is ready if you hear a nice sizzle when you drop a pinch or two of water into the skillet. If you hear an aggressive crackle then the temperature is too high, while no sound at all means it’s too low.

2: Go for Gold(en)
Once your skillet is ready, place the fish down and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes per side. If you are cooking skin-on fish, cook the non-skin side first. You know your fish is ready to flip when the edges start to become opaque. You should see a nice golden sear! The fish should be opaque and flaky.

3: Done?
Remove from heat and grab your thermometer. The perfect grilled fish should be hot (~145 F if using a thermometer) and tender. If you don’t have a thermometer, poke a fork into the thickest portion of the fish at an angle, then gently twist the fork and pull up. What do you see? Undercooked fish resists flaking and is translucent. Properly cooked fish will be opaque and flaky.

Justin’s Tips

  • Be careful to not overcook your fish because it will be dry. Err on the side of undercooking and remember, the fish will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat.
  • Presentation is key so make sure to serve your filet with the golden seared side up.
  • If you are using a cast iron or metal pan, the skin will stick to the pan when ready. If you don’t want the skin on when you plate it, use a thin metal spatula to lift the fish away from the skin, leaving the skin in the pan.
  • Think about eating the rainbow when you’re plating your dish. Serve your grilled fish over a grain. Consider a brown rice and quinoa blend, seasoned with lemon and sea salt, or lemongrass seasoned white rice. Include a healthy grilled vegetable on the side, such as broccoli or zucchini seasoned with garlic, sea salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • If you have the time, consider using our favorite fish marinade as the perfect accompaniment to any fish dish

Justin’s final step? Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Oh, and say goodbye to the days of dry, overcooked, flavorless fish. Happy cooking!

Raw salmon filet with lemon and olive oilMeet the Easiest Fish Marinade
Chimichurri Salmon with Roasted Corn SalsaWild-Caught Chimichurri Salmon and Roasted Corn Salsa

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