Fish, chicken, and eggs are the lean proteins that dominate a bodybuilder's meal prep menu. They're packed with muscle-building amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. While protein sources like chicken are a great option for lunch at work, fish, on the other hand, can accentuate the "fishy" flavor and not taste as fresh on the second day.
The good news is that Chad Belding, outdoorsman, hunter, chef and author of The Provider Cookbook is here to show you how not only to make your fish taste delicious every time, but to teach you how to cook it select highest quality fish market. (Along with step-by-step instructions on how to catch fish in the wild).
“Throughout my travels throughout rth America, South America and Europe, I've learned that I've always been fascinated by passionate cooks and have always wanted to be unorthodox in everything I cook,” says Belding. And as a hunter, fisherman and conservationist, Belding quickly learned the importance of knowing where food comes from and how to live off the land.
This is where the “provider mentality” was born and the Provider brand initiated. Belding says The Provider Cookbook was a nearly three-decade journey, drawing inspiration from passionate outdoor men and women from around the world.
It's time to get to know your fish, where it comes from and how to give it incredible flavor.
Follow these steps to find the highest quality fish in the grocery store
If you want quality, high-protein fish, snagging the first fish you see at the store isn't the way to go. The best way to buy fish through a retail store or grocery store "is to establish a relationship with the butcher or fish specialist," according to Belding. Luckily, most grocery stores employ a qualified seafood specialist, and you can ask any questions you have.
- Make sure your selection is caught in the wild and not farm bred.
- Look for the freshest fish by the best before date.
- Maintain premium color consistency and try to avoid bruising or discoloration of the fish.
- Finally, learn about your different classifications of shellfish, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish and use your best judgment to choose the highest quality.
Belding believes that the best fish is the freshest fish, "but there are easy ways to grill fish in a meal-prep manner that can be used in vegetable and rice dishes and salads throughout the week," says he. So when it comes to preparing food, always start with wild-caught, fresh fish. Next, use spices and rubs that bring out the best flavor in the fish while adding delicious flavors ranging from mild to hot. And of course, keep your fish dishes chilled until you're ready to enjoy them.
Quick tips for grilling fish
- Before grilling, make sure your grill is clean and free of debris - this will keep your fish clean.
- Oil your grill and/or fish - this results in slight lift-off and minimal sticking. (Unless you grill the fish in aluminum foil).
- Choose fish best suited to grilling - although all fish are grillable, some cuts and varieties are more forgiving of grilling mistakes, such as tuna, salmon, mahi-mahi, swordfish and halibut.
How to get the most out of your wild-caught fish
When caught wild, immediate care of the fish is essential for the fresh-tasting fillet. "Filleting the fish and keeping it on ice is key to ensuring the perfect taste and texture when the final recipe is set in motion," says Belding. He adds that "keeping the skin and trying to cook the fish in its freshest condition is key to elevating the overall experience."
Try this flavorful Seared Tuna Medallion recipe from Chef Chad Belding (from The Provider Cookbook). This quick and easy fish dish can be served as an appetizer or as an appetizer alongside your favorite rice and veggies.
Wild Fish Preparation Tips
- Use paper towels to thoroughly dry the fish.
- Line a foil and place the fish skin side down on the foil.
- For red fish and darker fish like salmon and tuna, cover thoroughly with vendor's spawn rub.
- For whiter fish such as walleye and halibut rub thoroughly with Provider Flakey Rub.
- Add sliced lemon on top of the fish and around the foil and cover, leaving a tiny slit at the top for smoke to penetrate.
- Set your grill (Belding uses Traeger) to 325ºF, once the grill has reached temperature, place the foil-covered fish on the grill and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, open the top of the foil further and place 3 slices of butter over your fish and add 1-2 pinches of Himalayan sea salt.
- Remove from the grill when the butter has completely melted, cover the fish and let rest in the foil for 5 minutes.
- Serve on a bed of rice with asparagus and sautéed onions.
Courtesy of Chad Belding
Seared Tuna Medallion recipe from Chef Chad Belding
This quick and easy seared tuna medallions recipe can be served as an appetizer or as an appetizer alongside your favorite rice and veggies.