Archives for: November 2010, 08
A reader, frustrated by cooking cod and having it turn out too dry, asked how I cooked frozen cod. I have the same problem when I buy thin cod fillets at the grocery store; they often come out dry.
I have the best results with cod loins, which I can only buy at a wholesale store like Sams or Costco. I do not thaw them. I put the frozen cod loins in a glass baking dish, top them with seasoning, and bake them at 350 degrees. I watch through the oven window for the juices that cook out of the cod. When the edges of the juice start to turn golden brown, I test for flakiness. The moment the cod flakes all the way through, I take it out of the oven.
When I’m in a hurry, I use a no-salt seasoning like Mrs. Dash or Spike on cod. When I have more time, I like topping cod with fresh foods – onions, celery, lemon, pineapple, whatever I have in the house.
***Basma added a comment about cooking fish in a pan vs in the oven. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom and read how she cooks fish***
The cod question reminded me that my husband asked me if we ate much tilapia. He had heard a news report about tilapia being dangerous. I spent some time doing internet searches about tilapia safety this morning. I am no expert, so do your own searches, but this is a summary of what I found.
Most tilapia is farm raised in China. The Director of Food Safety at the University of Georgia went to China to inspect fish farms, and found to his horror that they were feeding tilapia human and animal excrement. The fish were given a big dose of antibiotics prior to being prepared for market. This report is evidently several years old.
Some more recent reports indicate that China has made an effort to “clean up” their fish farms. I can’t tell whether this is advertising/marketing talk or whether they have really made significant changes.
Equally alarming is that people buy tilapia thinking that it is a less expensive way to get the good benefits of eating fish. A recommended ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 is 1:1. The typical American daily intake is estimated at 30:1. Aren’t you glad you are on the BTD and not on a typical American diet?!?
People are being encouraged to increase their Omega 3 intake, and the three best sources of Omega 3 are Flaxseed walnuts and cold water fish. When you look at the ratio, you want the first number to be smaller than 1. That means the fish has more Omega 3 than Omega 6.
You can see that tilapia is not a good choice for people wanting to increase the Omega 3s in their diet. Unlike other fish, it is low in Omega 3 and high in Omega 6.
I notice that the fat content of farm raised salmon is higher than wild caught salmon. Frankly the farm raised tastes better to me, and it is usually less expensive. I was almost ready to abandon wild caught and start buying farm raised. But in the course of looking up ratios, I learned that because of the grain based food fed to farm raised salmon, the increased fat content is the undesirable Omega 6.
As for me and my house…we will continue to buy cod loins over cod fillets. We will continue to buy wild caught salmon. And we won’t be buying any more tilapia. This blog is making me hungry. It’s time to fix lunch.