Let’s Go Fishing! Five Delicious Ways to Fix Fresh or Frozen Fish Fillets

Tired of making fish fillets the same way?  Here are some tips on how to choose, season, cook and serve 5 different fish fillets in a flash. Have fun discovering which type of fillet you like best.

Cooking frozen fish? Did you know that you don’t have to thaw frozen fish? It’s true, you don’t. You can skip the thawing process altogether and cook frozen fish straight from the freezer.

You’ll have to add a few minutes to the cook time in your recipe to account for the lack of thawing, but you can poach, steam, bake, broil, microwave or grill fish straight from the freezer!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the fish from the freezer: Remove the fish from the freezer and from its packaging.
  • Rinse off frost or ice: Rinse the fish under cold water to remove any frost or ice that’s accumulated.
  • Dry the fish: Pat the fish dry with a paper towel.
  • Season the fish
  • Cook the fish


Choose: For fresh fillets, choose boneless, skinless fillets with a saltwater smell. Cook the same day.

Season: Cajun-seasoning blend.

Cook: Pan-Sear (other methods may be used as well).

Serve:  Atop a substantial salad with lemon vinaigrette.


Choose:  For fresh fillets, choose boneless skin-on fillets. Cook the same day.

Season: Old Bay Seasoning

Cook: Pan fry until crispy.

Serve:  With vegetables; a salad of chopped avocado, tomatoes, lime juice, red onion and cilantro and chimichurri sauce.


Choose: For fresh fillets, choose skinless fillets. Cook the same day.

Season: Salt and white pepper.

Cook: Poach (with tomato and onion) until flaky, in lime juice, olive oil, and fish stock.

Serve: Garnish with lime zest and olive oil.



Choose: Wild-caught, pink, skin on fillets. Cook within 36 hours.

Season: Olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cook: Pan-sear to medium doneness.

Serve: With capers, olives, tomatoes and olive oil. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.



Choose: For fresh fillets, choose opaque, firm, boneless, skinless fillets with a fresh smell. Cook within 48 hours.

Season: Salt

Cook: Pan-sear. Baste with butter until slightly flaky.

Serve:  Over rice with minced garlic and ginger; topped with chives.


For those that prefer using the microwave, be sure to add a little lemon juice, seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.), and if desired, a little olive oil or butter to the fish and cover it with plastic wrap leaving a very small opening on one corner to let it vent a little. Cook until fish fillets are flaky and no longer opaque.

Heavier fillets like salmon or cod will take 4-5 minutes in a 1,000-watt microwave, while thinner filets like tilapia will take around 3 minutes.  If the fish isn’t completely opaque by the end of your original cook time, keep microwaving in 30 second increments until it’s done.

For those needing to limit your sodium intake, salt substitutes work well in addition to dill, white pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.

Be sure to check out the wonderful selection of fish at Fresh & Natural Foods. It will make your day.


Recipes by Chef Byron Penafiel of HOWM Cocina & Cocktails in New York City


Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: michelle@fnfoods.com. She will look forward to meeting you!