How to Make Cooked Fish: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Cooked Fish: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Cooked Fish: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

One of the best ways to enjoy a good fish is cooking the meat with onions and potatoes. Delicious, this typical recipe from Wisconsin, in the American Northeast, has the flavor of fish with a central point. And you don't even have to leave the house to taste it! Super simple, it can be made at home, with a single pot and a handful of ingredients.


  • 6 l of water.
  • ¾ cup (180 g) of coarse salt.
  • Bay leaves, whole dioe pepper and whole black pepper for seasoning.
  • 4 whitefish fillets of 230 g.
  • 680g of medium waxy red potatoes.
  • 8 small onions.
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) of chopped fresh parsley.
  • Ground pepper.
  • 115 g of melted unsalted butter (seating).
  • 4 lemon slices (accompaniment).


Part 1 of 4: Gathering Necessary Items

Boil Fish Step 1

Step 1. Choose the right fish

The traditional recipe uses freshwater white fish such as brown trout or North American lake whitefish. However, you can also use herring, cod, haddock or white salmon. You will need 4 fillets of 230g.

To increase the size of the recipe, calculate approximately 230g to 340g of fish per person

Boil Fish Step 2

Step 2. Set aside a large iron pot and a pile of firewood to cook the fish outdoors

If you plan to cook fish outdoors in the traditional way, you will need a pot and a fire. The ideal is to use an iron pan. Also, gather pieces of firewood or bark, and don't forget to get a lighter or a box of matches to light the fire.

  • If you can't find a pan or an iron kettle, use an aluminum or stainless steel pan.
  • A good idea is to sink the fish in water with a steel basket. This will make it much easier to get it out of the pan after it's cooked.
  • Set aside some extra wood to feed the fire during cooking.
  • Instead of a wood-burning fire, you can also use a propane torch to heat the water.
Boil Fish Step 3

Step 3. Choose a large pot to prepare the fish indoors

You can also recreate the recipe at home without needing a fire. Simply place a large aluminum or stainless steel pot on the stove. If the pan has a basket or a sieve, it will be much easier to get the fish out of the water after it is cooked.

If you don't have a basket or a sieve, take the cooked fish out of the water with a slotted spoon

Part 2 of 4: Cooking the Fish

Boil Fish Step 4

Step 1. Salt and boil the water

Fill the pan with 6 l of water and add ¾ cup (180 g) of coarse salt. Stir well and wait for the water to boil completely.

  • If you are cooking fish outdoors, add wood to the fire if the water takes too long to boil.
  • On the stove, just put the fire on a high temperature.
Boil Fish Step 5

Step 2. Add seasonings to water and boil for a few minutes

With a cheesecloth, make a sachet of spices including equal parts bay leaf, whole dioica and whole black pepper. The bag should be about the size of a golf ball. Soak the spices in water and let it steep for two to three minutes.

You can use whatever spices you prefer. Try, for example, adding rosemary or thyme to the bag

Boil Fish Step 6

Step 3. Put the fish in the water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the meat starts to come loose

Put the fish in the basket and dip it into the pan. Wait between two and three minutes for the water to come back to a boil. Cook the fish until you can easily loosen the meat with a fork. Cooking time should be between 10 and 12 minutes.

Boil Fish Step 7

Step 4. Remove foam and remove fish from pan

Once the meat is loose and ready to come out of the pan, skim the foam from the surface of the water with a spoon so that the fish does not come into contact with it. Remove the basket from the pan and let the meat drain.

If you don't have a basket, remove the pieces one by one with a slotted spoon. Shake them carefully to drain the water well

Part 3 of 4: Adding Vegetables to Broth

Boil Fish Step 8

Step 1. Clean potatoes and peel onions

Although you can prepare the fish neat, the traditional American recipe uses partially cooked potatoes and onions before the meat. Set aside 680 g of medium red potatoes and wash them with a nylon brush to remove the dirt. Then peel eight onions without removing the center.

  • Rub the potatoes under cold running water. If you don't have a brush, rub them with your hands.
  • The easiest way to peel an onion is to cut off 1.5 cm from the top and remove the skin from the top to the bottom.
Boil Fish Step 9

Step 2. Put the potatoes and onions in the pan and cover with water

Mix the washed potatoes and peeled onions inside the pan and cover them with 6 l of water. The water must be 5 cm above the vegetables.

Boil Fish Step 10

Step 3. Add salt and boil

Put ¾ cup (180 g) of coarse salt in the water and bring to a full boil.

If you are preparing fish on the stove, put the fire on high

Boil Fish Step 11

Step 4. Cook the vegetables until the potatoes start to soften

After the water boils, cook the vegetables for 15 minutes, until the potatoes start to soften. To test the point of the potatoes, skewer them with a fork.

It is very important that the heat remains constant during cooking. Keep the fire at the same height and avoid touching the stove knob

Boil Fish Step 12

Step 5. Add fish to vegetables

When the potatoes are tender, put the fish over the potatoes and onions. Cook it in the same way as in the recipe version without the vegetables.

Part 4 of 4: Finishing the dish

Boil Fish Step 13

Step 1. Take the fish out of the pan and transfer it to a tray

After draining the fish, place it on a plate or a tray. Be very careful that the filets do not fall apart.

To keep the fish warm, heat the pan before passing the meat to it. Place it in the oven or microwave if it is heat resistant, or simply wash it with hot water

Boil Fish Step 14

Step 2. Place vegetables around fish and garnish with herbs

After placing the meat on the tray, surround it with potatoes and onions. To get the vegetables into the pan, use a slotted spoon. Then decorate the dish with two tablespoons (30 g) of freshly chopped smooth parsley.

Another good idea is to season the dish with ground black pepper to taste

Boil Fish Step 15

Step 3. Serve the fish with melted butter and lemon

Bring the fish to the table along with 115 g of melted unsalted butter to throw on top. Also set aside four lemon slices for your guests to squeeze onto the meat.


  • You can also add other vegetables to the broth if you prefer. Some versions of the recipe include carrots in addition to potatoes and onions, for example.
  • Cooked fish is traditionally prepared over an open fire, on the beach or near a river or lake. This makes the perfect recipe for summer parties.
  • Some people serve fish and vegetables with coleslaw or bread.

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