How It's Done: No Flaky Fish, Please

I am surprised that in Janet McCracken's beautifully photographed article ("The Sure-Thing Barbecue," May 20), you suggested cooking salmon to the point that it flakes. If there is anything in this country that has contributed to turning off generations of potential fish eaters, it is the suggestion to cook fish until it flakes.

The only thing this guarantees is that the fish will be overcooked and develop the characteristic sour fishy taste that most people dislike and is the main reason that chefs have developed hundreds of rich, strongly flavored, cloaking sauces over the years.

My way of testing the doneness of fish is to insert a paring knife between the layers of flesh and hold it to my lip. If it is warm, the fish is moist and done; if it is lukewarm, it is undercooked; and if it is hot, the fish is overcooked and probably quite "flaky." This method is foolproof and doesn't disturb the appearance of the fish on presentation.


Long Beach


I just want to say thank you for the enjoyment my family and I had from "The Sure-Thing Barbecue" menu. I went to Home Depot to buy a cedar plank, and they thought I was !!!??("You're not going to build a fence? You want to cook salmon?" "Yes," I said.) The Asian Coleshaw was great and so were the potatoes.

When it was time to cook the salmon, my father-in-law was ready to take over. He saw what I was doing and said what the . . . . The salmon was good and so was the day.



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