Basic Fish Marinades

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Whether your fish is baked, broiled, fried, grilled, steamed, poached or microwaved, basic marinades add flavor and moisture without overpowering the natural flavor of the fish. Basic marinades generally contain an oil such as olive oil or canola oil; an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, lemon juice or wine; and a variety of flavorful spices and seasonings.

White Wine Marinade

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Marinades don't get much simpler than a basic wine marinade that comes together in only minutes. Start with white wine, then whisk in freshly squeezed lemon juice and soy sauce. Marinate the fish for 45 to 60 minutes. This basic marinade works well with any seafood or fresh-water fish.

Yogurt Marinade

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A yogurt marinade is a general purpose, Greek-style mixture that works well with not only seafood, but with lamb or chicken. Combine minced ginger with minced garlic, red pepper flakes or dried chili peppers, freshly squeezed lemon juice, turmeric and fresh, chopped mint in a blender. Add Greek yogurt and blend until the marinade is creamy. Allow fish to marinate in the yogurt mixture for 30 to 60 minutes.

Vinegar and Garlic Marinade

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All-purpose vinegar and garlic marinade is just the thing if you want to add a bit of fire to the flavor of your fish dinner. To make a vinegar and garlic marinade, mix equal parts wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Add minced garlic, chopped basil, fresh tarragon and canola or olive oil. Stir in between 2 and 5 tsp. of hot pepper sauce. Make the marinade ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to marinate your fish.


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Fresh herbs are the secret to a simple herb marinade that adds a light flavor to seafood such as shrimp, scallops and prawns. Begin with olive oil, then whisk in balsamic vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Chop fresh parsley, oregano and basil, then whisk the herbs into the marinade. Marinade the seafood in the refrigerator for a minimum of three hours.


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A marinade made with fresh ginger accentuates the flavor of mild fish such as halibut or tilapia. Place soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl, then whisk in peeled, grated ginger, thinly sliced onion and minced garlic, along with sea salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the fish for at least an hour.

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