Doneness And Flaking

When fish is cooked, the flesh breaks apart into its natural separations.This is called flaking. Most books, somewhat misleadingly, say that fish is done when it flakes easily. Unfortunately, some cooks interpret this as "nearly falling apart." Because fish continues to cook in its retained heat even when removed from the fire, it is often dreadfully overcooked by the time it reaches the customer. Fish is very delicate and is easily overcooked.

Observe these tests for doneness:

1. The fish just separates into flakes—that is,it is beginning to flake but does not yet fall apart easily.

2. If bone is present, the flesh separates from the bone, and the bone is no longer pink.

3. The flesh has turned from translucent to opaque (usually white, depending on the kind of fish).

Remember, the major flaw in fish preparation is overcooking.

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