belt fish, also known as silver scabbard fish, is a snake-like species with delicate, white meat. You can cook belt fish with or without the skin, and in a variety of ways. Many Asian markets sell belt fish in small steaks and fillets for a premium price.
For a clean flavor to go well with rice and citrus sauces, steam belt fish. Clean the belt fish fillets and place them on a steaming rack. Top them with simple ingredients such as crushed garlic, grated ginger, sliced scallions and crushed red pepper. Steam the fish for about 10 minutes, or until opaque in the center. You do not need heavy sauces because steaming allows the flavor of the ingredients to soak through the belt fish, creating tasty juices.
Broiled belt fish has a lightly charred exterior with a richness that adds a burst of flavor with every bite. Preheat the broiler and place the belt fish fillets on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Skinless fillets work best. Sprinkle them with bold seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. For a crunchy exterior, add a pat of butter or low-fat butter substitute to the top of the fillets. Broil the belt fish fillets for about four minutes per side or until opaque throughout. Cool the fillets for two minutes and serve.
For juicy fillets that produce a bold, natural sauce, pan-fry your belt fish. Roll the belt fish fillets in flour mixed with simple seasonings such as salt and pepper. Preheat a skillet over medium-high and add a nickel-sized drop of vegetable oil. Opt for low fat oil to cut calories. Add the fillets to the skillet and cook them for three to four minutes per side, or until flaky. Immediately before you remove the fillets from the skillet, add a squirt of lime or lemon juice to each as a garnish.
Baked belt fish tastes best with a flavorful breading to keep its delicate meat moist. The breading crisps for a pleasant contrast in texture. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat skinless belt fish fillets in beaten egg and roll them in seasoned breadcrumbs. For a tangier flavor, use low-fat mayonnaise instead of the beaten egg. Place the fillets in a lightly greased baking pan; use low-fat cooking spray to reduce calories. Bake the belt fish until the internal temperature reaches 145 F, or about 10 minutes.
Smoked belt fish is smooth and pleasant with flavor infused through every bite of the fillets. Skin-on belt fish fillets work best. Use a lightly flavored wood, such as alder, for the best taste. Preheat a smoker to 150 F per manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke the fillets for one hour and then increase the heat to 200 F. Cook the fillets for an additional two hours or until they reach a temperature of 165 F in the center.
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Serena Styles is a Colorado-based writer who specializes in health, fitness and food. Speaking three languages and working on a fourth, Styles is pursuing a Bachelor's in Linguistics and preparing to travel the world. When Styles isn't writing, she can be found hiking, cooking or working as a certified nutritionist.