Fish dishes are delicious, healthy, and nutritious. And so fish is one of the most important foods in our diet, especially during the days of Lent. Fish tastes good no matter how it was prepared: fried, stewed, boiled, roasted, salted, smoked, and fresh or as an ingredient in other dishes. This leaves room for all sorts of culinary experiments.
A healthy diet is inconceivable without fish. Indeed, fish contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, vitamin B complex, as well as calcium, iodine, ferrum, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, etc. In addition, fish is a good source of a easily digestible high-quality protein. Freshwater and saltwater fish slightly differ in their properties and composition. River or freshwater fish contain less protein and fat. Unlike seawater or ocean water fish, freshwater fish does not contain iodine and bromine. Therefore, seawater fish is considered to be healthier than freshwater fish.
Nutritionists recommend eating fish at least two or three times a week. There are plenty of reasons for this:
- Fish is good for your heart and blood vessels since it contains fatty acid omega-3 that improves venous and arterial blood circulation. This helps to prevent heart attacks.
- Omega-3 fatty acid also helps establish connections between brain cells. This helps to prevent depression and improves memory.
- Fatty acid omega-6 found in fish reduces the level of harmful cholesterol in blood. This minimizes the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
- Being a source of vitamin D, fish helps develop bone tissues and strengthens them.
- Fatty acid omega-3 found in fish is of great value for pregnant women since it serves as a kind of a constructing material for the brain of the child. However, it is not advisable to consume such types of fatty fish as salmon, trout, mackerel, or herring more than two times a week.
- Eating fish is much healthier than eating various chemical extracts from it in the form of capsules, since the best effect is achieved when omega-3 fatty acid is consumed in combination with other nutrients contained in fish.
- Fish boosts the immune system and metabolism. It reduces the risk of cancer and diabetes.
- Fish dishes stimulate healthy skin and hair owing to components that facilitate moisture retention in skin cells. Thus, it offers a beneficial effect on overall skin condition.
- Due to its content of vitamin A, fish improves eyesight.
- Seawater fish that is rich in iodine benefits the endocrine system, particularly the thyroid. For example, 200 grams of mackerel contain a daily dose of iodine. Moreover, it is easily digestible.
The maximum benefit from fish can be obtained if it is good quality, fresh, and properly cooked. It is not advisable to soak fish in water since it will lose its juiciness and the dish will be dry and tasteless. For your fish balls, cutlets, or zrazy (stuffed patties) to be delicious, you need to know how to prepare the stuffing. It is better not to use a meat grinder to mince the fish, as it can affect the flavor and smell of the fish and the stuffing may become gray. To get a tasty stuffing, it’s better to cut the fish flesh with a sharp knife. Meals cooked with a self-cleaned fish will be juicier and tastier, even though buying ready-made fillets is more convenient.
Cooks can prepare delicious meals using both freshwater and saltwater fish. However, to do so, one must be aware of some subtleties and secrets. For example, it is possible to make use of all parts of a freshwater fish except for its guts and gills. Heads of large fish are commonly used for cooking a fish broth or a fish soup. Small fish, for example a crucian carp, can be cooked with its head on. It contains tasty cartilaginous elements that add juices when fried. If you add a bit of cream or sour cream to the juices, you will get a tasty sauce for a main course dish.
However, not all elements of a seawater fish are edible. Before cooking, it is necessary to remove the head and to gut it. It is also recommended to remove the backbone, peel the skin, and cut off all the fins. These organs contain harmful substances so it is important to prevent these juices and bile from getting into fillets or into a ready-made meal.
Boiled, baked, or fried fillets of seawater fish taste delicious and go well with vegetables, potatoes, or rice. Experienced cooks add a lot of various spices, seasonings, and lemon juice to seawater fish dishes. Their flavor may also be enhanced by cream, milk, or a white wine sauce.
Korchma serves both unusual and traditional fish dishes to everyone’s liking. Roast fish lovers can try trout with sautéed butter and white wine vegetables (carrots, celery, and leeks); Rustic Style Zander roasted with tomatoes, onions, cheese, and mayonnaise; zander with sautéed eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and onions; or salmon with cherry tomatoes. Those who prefer fried fish can treat themselves to salmon slices with a creamy white wine sauce, tomatoes and onions, fried capelin, or fried carp with onions. Exceptional minced fish dishes are also on the menu. These are zander cutlets seasoned with herb butter or varenyky (dumplings) with salmon and dill. After trying such delicious dishes, even those who were indifferent to fish are very likely to start loving it.
Fish is a unique food that allows us to stick to a healthy diet or to fast without depriving ourselves of the pleasures of eating delicious and diverse dishes.