The Big Mistake You're Making With Seafood, According To Michael Cimarusti - Exclusive

For many people, there is no better meal than one that includes seafood. But seafood that is fresh and very high quality deserves and requires some attention to make it a worthwhile buy. From the way that it is seasoned to the method of cooking that is used, treating seafood or fish carefully will always result in a better meal. But that isn't the only big mistake chef Michael Cimarusti thinks people make with seafood. 

Cimarusti is the chef behind Providence, a two-star Michelin restaurant that serves up some of the best seafood in the United States (via Michelin Guide). That's a big part of why he was asked to be the guest judge on the finale of "MasterChef." When chef Cimarusti talked with Mashed prior to the premiere, he shared some of his thoughts on what people are doing wrong with their seafood and fish while cooking at home. 

"I think the biggest mistake that people make is thinking that there's one way to approach every fish, or that the one approach that you made that, maybe, works with one fish will work with all, and it's just not that way," Cimarusti said. "I think cooking fish and being good at it is something that takes a long time. You have to be present when you're cooking fish. It's not like a roast, or a braise, or a stew, or something like that, where you put the lid on and walk away for an hour," he explained.

Seafood requires a watchful eye, according to Cimarusti

Both seafood and fish are not foods that fall into the easy "set and forget" category, according to Cimarusti. "Fish doesn't work that way for the most part. It's much more immediate," he said. Instead, it requires a watchful eye and just about every other one of your senses too. "You have to be there, you have to be present, you have to be thinking about what's going on, you have to be receptive in more than just not just looking at what's going on, but smelling what's going on and hearing what's going on in the pan," Cimarusti said. "You just really have to be involved. I think that's the biggest key," he added.

Fortunately, Cimarusti believes there are some methods that home cooks can take advantage of for great seafood or fish in their own kitchen. "There are a few simple techniques that you can learn, and once you're proficient at them or with them, then you can apply them to different types of fish, but more than anything else, I think it takes a lot of time and trial and error to be really, really good at cooking fish," Cimarusti said. 

One of his favorite tricks is using a cake tester to check when the fish is done. When it can easily be inserted into the middle of the fish, it is done and ready to enjoy. "So if the fish is cooked and the fish is starting to relax, then the cake tester will pass through pretty easily," Cimarusti explained. 

To stay up-to-date with Michael Cimarusti, follow him on Instagram. If you're in the Los Angeles area and want to try Cimarusti's fantastic take on seafood, visit Providence.