No matter how you cook your fish, it will cook quickly. You want to keep as much moisture in as possible. There is no “absolute” timing with fish. If you press on it, it should feel like it is separating.

Here’s a tip. if you’re not sure if your fish is done, take a skewer and stick it in the thickest part. The tip should be hot on your tongue. You might not be able to talk after this, but you’ll be eating! If you have a very thin tail portion, tuck it under itself so that part doesn’t get overdone.

Before we started cooking ourselves, May gave a demonstration of three types of cooking techniques using salmon. She poached some using a piece of paper called a “cartouche,” which is cut into a circle to fit into the pot you’re poaching in. The paper keeps moisture in the fish. You can use bouillon or stock to add flavor to the poaching stock. Never boil poaching liquid, as higher heat tightens fish muscle. Keep the heat low instead, so it just simmers.

Next, she pan seared a piece. Put it skin side or presentation side down first and don’t move it a lot, just let it cook to get that nice crust on it. Then she finished it by roasting it at 375 degrees for about five minutes. 

The third demonstration was grilling. Many people have trouble with fish sticking to the grill. Don’t move it. Don’t keep flipping it over and over. Just put it there and let it cook. When the fish is just about done (touch the top), THEN flip it. It shouldn’t stick.

I wanted to fillet a salmon, but I only got to skin some black cod. Cathy worked with some beautiful pieces of tuna with a great rub on them.

Here’s what I had to cook:

Black Cod with a Miso Glaze with Stir Fried Bok Choy

Black Cod with Miso Glaze


1/3C white miso paste
¼ C mirin wine
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T minced peeled fresh ginger
2 t toasted sesame oil
Four 6 oz black cod fillets

Whisk the miso, mirin, vinegar, ginger and sesame oil in a small bowl to blend. Place the fish in a glass baking dish or non-reactive pan. Pour miso sauce over, turn to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. 

Ginger Stir Fried Bok Choy


2 lbs bok choy
2 T peanut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½” piece of ginger, minced
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 t coarnstarch mixed with 3 tbsps water
¼ t red pepper flakes
1 t toasted sesame oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the bok choy stems and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Leave the leaves whole. Transfer fish to flat sheet. Brush fish with 1 tsp peanut oil. Pour the marinade over it. Roast until the fish is cooked through, about 7 minutes per inch of thickness.

Set the wok over high heat. Add the peanut oil and roll it around the sides. When hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the bok choy and a few pinches of salt and stir fry until wilted and glossy. Add the soy sauce, cornstarch slurry and red pepper flakes and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the leaves are shiny and glazed. Toss with the sesame oil and serve with the fish.