How to Marinade Fish Overnight

By Heather Thomas

The purpose of marinating most meat is twofold. First, marinades add flavor. Secondly, the acids, such as lemon or lime juice, tenderize a tough cut of meat. Because fish already is tender, do not leave it in an acid-based marinade for more than one hour. The acid literally will cook the fish without heat. When overly marinated fish is then cooked, it becomes mushy and has a tendency to fall apart. There is a simple way to infuse your fish with flavor while avoiding this potential pitfall when marinating overnight.

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Use a dry marinade to infuse your fish with flavor.

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Step 1

Inspect the fish for any bones and remove if them if necessary.

Step 2

Rinse the steaks or fillets briefly under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 3

Spray the fish with a coating of cooking spray or massage lightly with extra virgin olive oil. This prepares the fish to receive your marinade.

Step 4

Sprinkle the oiled fish with an herb or seasoning blend of your choosing. This method is called a dry marinade in contrast to a wet marinade that typically has an acid base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.

Step 5

After applying a generous coating of the seasoning you choose, rub the fish gently to work the flavors into the individual pieces.

Step 6

Place the fish in a large resealable storage bag or container. The pieces do not need to be in a single layer. If the pieces overlap, it simply exposes them to more of the dry marinade.

Step 7

Refrigerate, preferably no longer than 24 hours. Cook the marinated fish as desired.