Potential Carcinogens Formed During Fish Preparation

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Certain cooking processes transform the proteins and related molecules in meat and fish into highly reactive products that damage DNA and may thereby initiate the development of cancers. So the rule for cooking meat also holds for cooking fish: to minimize the creation of potential carcinogens, steam, braise, and poach fish rather than grilling, broiling, or frying it. If you do use high, dry heat, then consider applying a marinade, whose moisture, acidity, and other chemical qualities reduce carcinogen production.