comscore How to enjoy eating seafood without the fishy smell | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

How to enjoy eating seafood without the fishy smell


    Fresh red snapper is iced and ready for sale at Aquila Seafood in Bon Secour, Ala., in 2012.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to

QUESTION: I’d like to cook more fish, but my husband hates that fishy smell in the kitchen. Any ideas? — Kaitlyn S., St. Louis

ANSWER: Yep. There are a couple of things you can do besides serving sushi (and we’re not for eating raw fish — too many risks, from an upset tummy to parasites).

You can start by serving smoked fish like gravlax or Nova lox that you don’t cook. They still offer all the health benefits of fish, such as omega-3s.

There also are techniques that can nip the fish smell in the bud before it happens, prevent it from happening while you’re cooking and remove the smell from the house if necessary.

1. Before cooking, soak the fish in lemon water for about an hour. Remove the fish and dry well before cooking.

Lemon neutralizes a chemical in the fish called trimethylamine, which is responsible for that fishy smell.

2. If you don’t have time for soaking the fish (or forgot to do it), add aromatic seasonings like crushed garlic and fresh thyme to the pan as the fish cooks.

And remember, when cooking any fish, saute in extra-virgin olive oil at a low to medium heat. High-tempurature cooking will burn off the fish’s oils, and presto, that’ll fill the house with a fishy smell!

3. If you blew it, and you’ve stunk things up, bring a shallow pot of water to a boil, add a dash of vinegar, vanilla extract and crushed up cinnamon sticks.

Or spread some vanilla extract on a baking sheet, set the oven at 200 degrees, slide it in and leave the door open a crack. Your house will smell like cookie dough.

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