Helpful Cooking Guidelines for Fish

All of our products come complete with cooking guidelines, but please remember that all appliances vary, so be careful and use your own judgement. Some people are nervous about cooking fish so we have included some simple guidelines below.

Cooking Fish

There are many ways to cook fish, but the main rule is to only lightly cook the fish as it tends to get tough if it cooked for too long (especially shellfish). We have set out some guidelines for the various methods of cooking fish. The timings given are only guidelines, so please remember that thicker pieces of fish will require longer times and thinner pieces less time.

Please also remember that frozen fish should be defrosted first!


Suitable for - All Types of Fish
Cooking Time:
Thin Fillets – 6 to 8 Minutes
Thick Pieces – 15 to 20 Minutes

Poaching is a fast, easy, and no-fuss method. If you want to serve a sauce with the fish, then using the poaching liquid introduces the flavour of the fish itself. The cooking may be done either in a saucepan or fish kettle on top of the stove, or in a covered casserole in a moderate oven (350°C/gas mark 4). Never boil the liquid, just simmer gently.

The poaching liquid may be seasoned milk, water, cider, or white wine. For fillets and medium-sized steaks, use enough liquid to half-cover the fish. Whole fish and thick steaks should be completely covered.


Suitable for - Fillets, Steaks, or Small Whole Fish
Cooking Time:
Thin Fillets – 10 to 20 Minutes
Thick Pieces – 20 to 30 Minutes

This is a trouble-free way of cooking most fish. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. For white fish, smoked fish, fillets, and steaks, brush with oil or melted butter and cover with baking foil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. You can foil wrap the fish, which keeps it moist and retains all the juices and flavours inside the parcel.


Do not forget that you can make fish stew from most types of fish. Cut the fish into pieces and add other ingredients, such as vegetables, as with any type of stew. The fish will give the liquid a delicious flavour as it cooks.


Suitable for - Fillets, Steaks, or Small Whole Fish
Cooking Time - Microwave Ovens Vary a Lot. Only Cook for 3 to 4 Minutes Depending on the Model. Do Not Overcook.

Microwave cooking of fish is fast and easy. It can produce a succulent dish retaining all the delicate flavours - but the cooking time is critical. Fish may be steamed in a microwaveable steamer in just 2 to 3 minutes on high power (800W). Overcooking can occur quickly and causes the fish to become dry. It is better to slightly under cook and then leave the fish to stand for few minutes. This is because, with microwave cooking, the food continues to cook for a short while after it is taken out.

Grilling or Barbecuing

Suitable for - Most Types of Fillets, Steaks, or Small Whole Fish
Cooking Time:
Thin Fillets – 4 to 5 Minutes
Thick Steaks – 10 to 15 Minutes

Brush the fish with oil, butter, or marinade to retain moisture. Cook under a moderate to high heat. The fish will need to be carefully turned over once halfway through cooking.

Shallow or Pan Frying

Suitable for - Fillets, Steaks, or Small Whole Fish
Cooking Time:
Thin Fillets – 6 to 8 Minutes
Thick Steaks – 10 to 15 Minutes

Heat a small amount of oil or butter gently until it is fairly hot. Put in the fish and turn once when the first side is brown. Drain well on kitchen paper before serving. It is often recommended that the fish should be coated before frying, for example, with seasoned flour or egg and breadcrumbs.


Suitable for - Thin Cuts and Fillets

Cooking Time - Thin Fillets – 7 to 10 Minutes
Place the fish on a plate or in a steamer over a pan of simmering water and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

Contact us now, in the South of England, for more guidelines on how to cook frozen food and fish.