Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Microwave versions of simmered or steamed fish can be quite successful thanks to the relatively thin dimensions of fillets and steaks, which the electromagnetic waves can penetrate fully and cook quickly. To prevent especially thin portions from overcooking, cover them with radiation-blocking pieces of aluminum foil, or overlap them with each other to a consistent thickness. As in most microwave cooking, the food should be enclosed so that the surface doesn’t dry out and toughen: wrap the fish pieces in parchment or the cooking dish with plastic wrap, or simply place the fish between two inverted plates. Waiting for the fish to cool down some before uncovering the dish will mean less likelihood of a steam burn, a smaller billow of fishy aromas into the air, and less moisture loss from the fish surface.