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I've just cooked some sea bass fillets (according to the instructions), and was instructed (by the instructions) to turn them from the skin side to the flesh side mid-way through cooking.

This led to the flesh side being slightly yellowed and crisp, which seems strange. Have I been led unwittingly into some form of cooking faux-pas, or is all as it should be?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Nothing wrong with slightly crispy flesh, however I wouldnt do it 50% on each side.

Depending on the fish (I would enjoy monkfish and tuna less crispy than seabass or salmon), I would do it a maximum of 30% cooking time skin side up and a minimum of 10-15% - as you want some colour on there after all.

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If you want to avoid getting the flesh side crispy start pre-heating the oven and a frying pan, then fry it skin side down for a few minutes, turn it and fry it just briefly on the flesh side, then transfer to a baking dish and finish it for a few minutes in the oven. Keep the skin side up and place it high in the oven to ensure the skin stays crispy.

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I certainly like it coloured, but cooking time shouldnt be 50/50 time/side more like 70/30, skin down/skin up –  NBenatar Oct 31 '10 at 18:35
    
@NBenatar: Oh Gosh. If Only Someone Would Write Similar Time/Crispiness Variations In An Answer It Might Do Quite Well. waggles eyebrows meaningfully –  Stuart Pegg Nov 1 '10 at 18:37

I think this is largely going to be a matter of taste. However, I think that's perfectly appropriate. If I'm frying fish, then I want some of the crispyness. You could probably avoid it by using a lower temperature and longer cooking if you wanted, but I think it's one of the nice things about sauteeing fish.

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