All you wanted to know about Fish

Fish is good for you, the more the better. Fish oils reduce heart disease and blood pressure as well as aiding the prevention of arthritis, blood clotting and cancer. It is low in fat and high in protein. What fat it does have, belongs mainly to the omega 3 group. This fat group is essential to the human body, including the brain.

There are two types of omega 3 fatty acids – DHA (docasahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – both found in all fish in varying quantities. EPA is found in great quantities in cold water fish, such as snoek, mackerel, salmon and yellowtail, while DHA is found in greater quantities in warm water fish and squid. DHA is the better of the two, but both provide protection from cancer. Even tinned fish is beneficial, especially those with low salt preservatives. The long and the short of it all is that if you eat fish only twice a week it will not only significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, but may also go a long way to the prevention of other diseases. The preparation of fish is also significant – omega 6s (the bad fats) interfere with the absorption of omega 3 fatty acids, and therefore it is recommended that mono-unsaturated oils should be used ie olive and grapeseed oil, in fish preparation.

South Africa is blessed with an extensive coastline spanning two oceans. Due to the different water temperatures they produce a variety of seafood to match the best around the world. Unfortunately South Africans have been slow to catch on to what the seas have to offer, and as a result the fishing industry has concentrated its efforts on the export market regarding our best fish. To put the South African seafood eating habits into perspective, 80% of all fish eaten in South Africa consists of hake, mainly frozen. The remaining 20% includes shellfish, kingklip, sole and a limited amount of linefish that is now becoming available.


As a general rule:
•    Filleted fish     – 120g to 180g per person
•    Boned cutlets     – 250g per person
•    Whole fish with head     – 350g per person

Cooking techniques

It is imperative never to overcook fish. Rather slightly undercook it, as it will continue to cook once removed from the heat. Fish fillets cook best at temperatures of between 85°C and 160°C, any higher and the natural juices are removed, drying it out.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs a variety of cooking classes specializing in fish and seafood throughout the year. On an alternate monthly basis, we run a dedicated sushi class. At the end of January we ran the first in a series of our very successful master classes – All you want to know about…. Fish. In the class we covered over ideal fish dishes to showcase the versatility of fish, including:

•    Ceviche – a classic south American preparation, raw fish, marinated in lemon juice and spices;
•    Sashimi Salad – slivers of top grade tuna tossed in a Thai inspired dressing;
•    A delicious Italian based seafood soup;
•    A fish curry in a rich coconut stock; and
•    How to make the perfect braaied and fried fish.

Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes at its purpose-built cooking studios in Sunninghill and Hekpoort. These team building cooking classes are perfect for corporates wanting to get out of the office and enjoy a meal and activity at the same time. Our professional cooking instructors are great at setting the mood and facilitating a memorable event. Our team building venues are also great for groups wanting to entertain clients or launching new products. Contact our cooking school in Johannesburg for more details.