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The Best Herbs & Spices For Seasoning Fish

They say that baking is a science, but cooking is an art. Baking involves loads of measurements to get a mix of perfect proportions, while cooking is instinctive, refined choices with skills honed by countless attempts, each better than the next.

If cooking is an art, then spices are the paints, and fish is the canvas. And what better canvas than one that is already near-perfect?

Fish is delicious, healthy, and an excellent source of lean protein. While eating fish on its own is already pleasurable, spices are key to cooking fish. Seasoning with spices might be intimidating at first, but with some guidance and practice, you’ll be using herbs and spices for fish like a pro in no time!

We’ve created a handy guide to using herbs and spices for cooking fish. With some practice and experimentation, the world will be your oyster!

1. Basil

Lemon and basil are a match made in heaven! The citrusy, crisp lemon and sweet, subtle flavour of basil pair well for all types of fish, but is especially tasty with white fish like cod or rockfish.

Use freshly-squeezed lemon juice and basil chopped finely onto a pan-seared gorgeous white fillet of fish with some butter for a delicious, healthy meal.

2. Parsley

Parsley is a perfect addition to pan-fried fish, with a slightly bitter aroma that can balance savoury dishes. You can put chopped parsley on everything! Don’t chop it too fine though, as larger pieces are more aesthetically appealing as a garnish and have more flavour.

3. Dill

Freshly harvested dill has a mild, sweet taste that will complement a subtly-flavoured fish. Try including some chopped dill into butter and melt it over a baked or pan-fried fish fillet for a tasty meal.

As with most recipes, a small amount of lemon can be used for that extra tanginess.

4. Lemongrass

Fried fish with lemongrass is one of the most popular Thai dishes!

Using lemongrass will suit fried or steamed whole fish best. Get a snapper or sea bream, marinate it with lemongrass and other ingredients of your choice then lightly fry it until it turns a beautiful golden-brown with a crispy skin.

5. Rosemary 

Rosemary has a strong, pine flavour that can overpower a dish. It is a small, evergreen herb from the mint family. You can use rosemary on stronger-tasting fish cuts like salmon or tuna.

Rosemary has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Use sparingly for best results.

6. Thyme

Thyme is a good substitute for rosemary and has a slightly less overpowering taste. Still, use thyme lightly; the more it cooks, the more intense the flavours get.

Grill a whole fish and add some lemon for a delicious and healthy meal.

7. Sage

With a pronounced herbal flavour, sage is slightly peppery, earthy, with hints of lemon and mint. It can also overpower, and cooking sage increases the intensity.

Pan-fried halibut or cod with sage, butter, and garlic is absolutely delicious!

8. Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika has a spicy, earthy taste, coming from smoking chili peppers over oak. Pair smoked paprika with parmesan cheese and cook with a thick, firm fish like snapper or halibut.

Reel in Fresh Fish from Greenwood Fish Market & Get Cooking!

With countless recipes available online, you’ll soon be seasoning and cooking your fish like a bass! Now that you’ve got the hang of seasoning fish, you might want to check out our guides on choosing the right fish for your dish and cooking restaurant-quality seafood at home.

Time to head to Greenwood Fish Market — your friendly neighbourhood fish supplier in Singapore and get that perfect cut of fillet or fresh whole fish. Too lazy to head out? Order fresh fish online with delivery nationwide to all areas of Singapore at our online store or NTUC.

Not in the mood to cook at home? We got your back. Visit us at one of our restaurants in Singapore and let us serve you a mouthwatering fishy meal!