The world-wide success of cooking in various homes is due to a style of cookery that is both simple and convincing; fresh ingredients, short cooking times and aromatic spices. If these principles are paired with fine fish and exquisite seafood, cooking turns into a culinary event.
The fish is usually cut into bite-sized chunks before cooking, but it can also be fried whole. There is a trick to make sure that squid, the flesh of which sometimes has a tendency to be a bit tough, becomes tender; slice open the tubes, lay them on the work surface with the inside downwards and make diamond-shaped incisions into the outer side, using a very sharp knife. During the cooking process, the squid chunks then rise up in that shape, which also looks very decorative.
When cooking mussels and shells, their freshness is vital. They have to close up while you are soaking them in cold water. The ones that remain open have to be discarded. Once they are cooked, they should have opened; this time, the ones that remain closed must not be eaten, but discarded.
Scallops have wonderfully tender flesh, it is best to buy them in the shell and then open them yourself. Hold the shell tightly with the flat side pointing upwards, then carefully drive a knife in between the upper and lower side of the shell out through the muscle. Now you can pull off the grey coat and discard it; the red roe is loosened and also used for cooking.
If you marinate the fish before cooking it, it will turn out especially aromatic. Recommendable for marinating are all kinds of Asian sauces such as fish, oyster, soy or hoisin sauce, but rice wine is also very suitable for marinating. Exotic herbs and spices give the marinade its special flair – and these explain the unusual attraction of Asian cooking.
When fish dishes are combined with vegetables, start by cooking the vegetables, as most vegetables have a longer cooking time than fish. This way, you prevent the fish from flaking. In general, fish and seafood are both suitable for pungent spices and for sweet and sour flavors and go well with vegetables or with exotic fruits such as pineapples or mango. Fish dishes are best accompanied with fragrant or wild rice.