Unlike other types of frozen meat, fish steaks can be removed from the freezer and steamed without being thawed first. Fish steaks respond well to steaming because the moist-heat cooking method helps keep the steaks moist. Because the steak does not come into direct contact with liquid, the steaks’ natural flavors and aromas are preserved during the steaming process. Steaming is a healthful way to prepare moist, flavorful fish, without adding calories or fat to your dish.
Preparing the Steamer
To steam your fish steak, place approximately 1 inch of water in the bottom of a large saucepan. If desired, use vegetable stock in place of the water or add a bit of white wine to the water to give the fish some additional flavor. Place your steamer rack in your saucepan and put your frozen fish steak directly on the steamer. The water level in the pan should be low enough so that the water does not touch your fish. Lightly salt the fish and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on it before steaming, if desired.
Fish steaks do not take much time to steam; however, when cooked from the frozen state, they take approximately twice as long to cook as thawed fish. Allow about 20 minutes for each inch of thickness. For example, a one-inch-thick steak will take approximately 20 minutes to cook, and steak that is one and a half inches thick will take approximately 30 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the fish over.
To prevent food-borne illness, make sure that your fish steak is cooked completely before serving. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that fish be cooked until the center of the steak reaches 145 degrees F. The flesh will be completely opaque and will flake when touched with a fork when it is done.
Safe Handling of Fish
Handling frozen fish properly is essential to prevent food-borne illness. Before and after you handle raw fish, always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and hand soap. Any surface that comes into contact with raw fish should also be thoroughly washed and rinsed with hot, soapy water. If you have any leftover steamed fish, refrigerate it promptly.