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Fish Tips for Lent

Soul Fish Cafe Blackened Salmon.jpg
Jennifer Chandler/Commercial Appeal

Lent started last week … and that means for many Fish Fridays until Easter.

I asked Raymond Williams, the co-owner of Soul Fish Café, to give us his top tips for buying, storing and cooking fish. He is known for his restaurant’s famous catfish, but Raymond knows how to cook about any type of fish.

Tip #1:

If buying fresh at a grocery store or fish market, look for fish that passes the two most important tests, eyes and nose.

If it’s a whole fish … are the eyes clear, are the gills bright red, and if there is any slime, is it clear? If it's a filet … does it look fresh, not beat up or cloudy? And the real telltale sign is … does it smell? Most fresh fish have very little odor. If it smells, it's probably not as fresh.

Tip #2:

When storing fresh fish, it's important to keep it as cold as possible. At Soul Fish, they store fish in the coldest part of the walk-in refrigerator and also cover it with bagged ice. Buy it and use it within 3 days. Frozen fish is also fine and can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or quickly under running cold water.

Tip #3:

As for cooking, Raymond said that at Soul Fish they are partial to frying, but that blackening is a fantastic way to prepare fresh fish.

There are plenty of good store-bought blackening seasonings that taste fantastic. Dredge the fish filet in the blackening seasoning then cook in the style of your choice. The traditional way of blackening is cooking it in a white hot iron skillet and truly “blackening” the seasoning, but it works just as well under the broiler in the oven or on the grill.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit.

For more information about Soul Fish Café, visit soulfishcafe.com.