Li Qing | Fishmonger Tips

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Fish For Your Dish

At Greenwood Fish Market, we’re crazy about fish. But alas, not all fish can be prepared and cooked the same way. Each species has a distinct flavour and texture, and different cooking methods will suit various types of fish. In addition, the cut of the fish, the thickness of the cut, and the fattiness of the meat all matter when buying fresh fish and planning the perfect dish.

Let’s dive right into our fish recommendations based on common cooking methods!

1. Steaming

Steaming with minimal seasoning is a healthier way of preparing fish. The lower cooking temperatures and lack of cooking fat preserve the natural Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish more than other cooking methods.

Delicate fish like barramundi, sea bass and pomfrets can be steamed and prepared with shallots, cilantro, ginger, or soy sauce. Steaming is also an excellent way to prepare shellfish like clams and mussels as well as crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, and prawns.

2. Pan-Frying

Pan-frying is a popular method of preparing fish, best suited for soft white fishes like cod and oily fishes like tuna and salmon.

To keep your fish from sticking to the pan, use a non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet.

Heat the pan and add a small amount of oil or butter. When the fat starts to shimmer, the pan is hot enough to add your fish cut. If frying a skin-on fillet, add the cut with the skin downwards to create a delicious crispy skin.

3. Baking

Studies have shown that baked fish retain more of their Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D than other methods like frying or grilling.

Baking is an excellent way of preparing fish with firm, fatty flesh that tends to have higher collagen levels, helping them stay moist. More delicate fish like pomfrets tend to fall to pieces or dry out in the baking process. Popular choices of fish to bake include cod, tilapia, halibut, and snapper.

You can also try baking en papillote to retain moisture and nutrients. En papillote is a cooking method where the fish and seasoning are placed in a foil or other coverings then baked. This covering retains moisture that helps steam the fish and creates a delicious sauce in the process.


When deep-frying fish, picking the right oil is crucial. Choose an oil with a high smoke point like sunflower or canola for frying at high temperatures, and be wary of overly flavourful oils like sesame that might overpower the taste of the fish.

As for picking a fish to deep fry, choose a lean fish with a neutral flavour like halibut, tilapia, cod, or bass. Avoid oily and dense fish like tuna, salmon, or bass.

And most importantly, make sure to batter the fish for some good ol’ fashioned fish and chips!


Poaching cooks the fish in low heat, which better preserves the fish’s nutrients. Flavours that are overpowered when cooked in high heat will emerge when poaching.

When picking a fish to poach, find one with firm, dense flesh that won’t break apart like salmon, tuna, monkfish, and halibut. Whole fish are also easier to poach than fillets. Ideal candidates for poaching include whole bass, red snapper, or mackerel.

Hook the Freshest Catches from Greenwood Fish Market!

Heading to a fresh fish market in Singapore? Check out some of our fresh fish at our online store. We have been Singapore’s friendly fish supplier for almost 20 years with a fantastic range of rare cold-water fish, shellfish and crustaceans to cater to the cravings of the most discerning seafood lover.

We offer fuss-free islandwide home delivery of seafood, vacuum-packed for maximum freshness. Not in the mood to cook at home? Let us take care of that instead. Cast off to any of our restaurants for a masterfully cooked seafood meal you won’t soon forget. We hope to sea you reel soon!