Steaks cut from firm, meaty fish like salmon, swordfish, and tuna are delicious when grilled. You cook them pretty much as you would beef steaks. Actually, this isn’t completely true. I cover the grill when cooking thick fish steaks. Restaurant chefs invert a metal pie pan over each. Both methods help speed up the cooking process.
1. Start with the freshest possible fish. Tuna, for example, should be sushi quality. If you like it rare in the center, cut the steak 1 to 2 inches thick. If you like it cooked through, cut the steaks 1/2 inch thick. Swordfish can be cut 1/2 to 1 inch thick. When grilling salmon steaks, leave the bones in. They help hold the fish together.
2. Preheat the grill to high.
3. When ready to cook, brush the fish steaks on both sides with oil or melted butter and season with salt and pepper. If you’ve marinated the fish in a mixture rich with oil, butter, or coconut milk, it is unnecessary to either blot dry, further oil, or season. The grate should be oiled, however the fish can go on the grate right after you’ve done that.
4. Arrange the fish steaks on the hot grate, all facing the same direction. Cover the grill and cook the fish steaks on one side for about 2 minutes for a steak 1/2 inch thick 4 to 6 minutes for one an inch or more thick. If desired, after 2 minutes, using a long spatula, rotate the steaks 90 degrees. This creates an attractive crosshatch of grill marks.
5. Carefully turn the steaks over, using the spatula, and cook the other side the same way, rotating the steaks 90 degrees after 2 minutes and covering the grill again. Tuna tastes best served rare or pink in the center swordfish and salmon should be cooked through.
6. To test steaks that should be cooked through for doneness, gently pierce the steak in the center with a knife it should look cooked through. Or, press the fish with your finger. When properly cooked the area around where you pressed will break into firm flakes. If there is a center bone, the fish should pull away easily.
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