The Man’s Guide to Cooking and Eating Fish

BBQ salmon
BBQ salmonmphillips007 / Getty Images

Let’s get right to the point: You already know that fish is good for you, so we won’t waste any time going into how research shows it can improve body composition, suppress appetite, or make you smarter than you already are. If you like fish, you’re probably already eating it. If you don’t, we get it: Salmon is too fishy, and the first time you tried tilapia you freaked out because you thought you had lost your sense of taste. But what about red snapper? Or rainbow trout? How about searing tuna instead of knocking it out of a can?

There’s a lot about fish you don’t know, like which ones have the highest nutritional value or the best flavor, or how to use it to seal the deal on a date, for that matter. Consider this your marine-meat cheat sheet—your guide to getting the body you want, the health you deserve, and maybe even the girl across the hall.

Rainbow trout

A 3-oz serving of rainbow trout packs 20g of protein and contains just 130 calories, 4g of fat, and 30mg of sodium. And the heart-health benefits are off the charts. “Just one serving of trout provides about double the amount of DHA and EPA you need to prevent heart disease,” says Jim White, R.D.

Oven-roasted rainbow trout with tomatoes, thyme, and olives


  • extra-virgin olive oil for foil
  • 1 rainbow trout fillet
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup green or black olives, diced
  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Cut a sheet of aluminum foil into a square that is 3″ longer than your fish. Coat dull side of foil with olive oil. Season both sides of trout with salt and pepper, and place fish on foil, skin-side down.
  2. In a bowl, combine tomato, garlic, olives, 1tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture onto fish, top with thyme, and drizzle with 1⁄2tsp olive oil.
  3. Fold foil up loosely, grab by the edges, and crimp together tightly to make a packet. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10–15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and pull apart easily when tested with a fork.
  4. Place packet on a plate. Carefully cut crosswise to open, and gently remove fish, pouring juices on top.

The numbers : 212 Calories; 18g protein; 8g carbs; 13g fat; 3g fiber.

Pair it with the perfect wine: “I prefer a stainless steel–fermented Chardonnay,” says Roman Roth, partner and winemaker at Long Island’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard. “You get the richness of Chardonnay, but because it’s in stainless steel it retains more acidity and freshness.”


Fresh tuna is low in calories and packed with protein—a 3-oz portion of bluefin tuna provides 25g. The “chicken of the sea” is rich in vitamins A and B12, and contains smaller amounts of riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B6. And it’s a good source of healthy minerals including magnesium, potassium, and iron. “Tuna is also high in selenium,” White says, “which helps prevent cancer and heart disease, and helps detoxify the body.”

Pan-seared tuna with steamed ginger kale


  • ½ tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp onion, sliced
  • ¼ tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 7 oz tuna fillet with skin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Make it:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy, nonstick skillet and, using a spatula, stir in garlic, onion, and ginger. Move to one side of skillet. Place tuna fillet on other side of skillet, flesh-side down, until it starts to brown. Turn fillet over so skin side is down. Season fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook fish over medium-high heat until just cooked through, about 5 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Add chopped kale, incorporating into ginger mixture.
  3. Once tuna skin is crispy and the flesh of the fish is white and flaky, prepare to serve. Spoon kale and ginger mixture onto a plate, then top with tuna fillet. Drizzle fish with lemon juice, and serve immediately.

The numbers: 610 Calories; 32g protein: 9g carbs; 50g fat; 2g fiber

Pair it with the perfect wine: “Match it with a wine that is rich in aroma, like a nice Riesling or a lighter Cabernet Franc,” says Roth. “I prefer to match the wine according to the fish’s flavor, rather than to have opposition.”

Red snapper

Red snapper contains around 50% of the selenium—a detoxifying mineral—that our bodies need each day, plus a healthy dose of protein. “A 3-oz serving of red snapper has about 23g of protein,” White says, “and there is a lot of vitamin B12, which helps the body make blood cells and maintain a healthy nervous system.”

Broiled red snapper with warn potato salad


  • 7 oz baby confetti potatoes, diced
  • ¼ tbsp nonsalt butter
  • ½ tbsp lime juice
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch coriander
  • 1 red snapper fillet
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Make it:

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Fill with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Melt butter in a separate saucepan. Stir in lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and coriander. Once incorporated, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Place fillet on a baking sheet. Brush generously with lime mixture. Broil for 5-8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Once potatoes reach desired texture, drain water from saucepan and add scallions, celery, parsley, and olive oil. mix together, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove fish from broiler, and serve with a side of the warm potato salad.

The numbers: 383 calories; 49g protein; 32g carbs; 6g fats

Pair it with the perfect wine: “Stay with Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc,” says Roth. “I’d choose a sweeter and richer version from a hot climate, something with a bit more alcohol to stand up to those flavors and soften those spices.”

ot Grigio

or Sauvignon Blanc. I’ choose a sweeter and richer version from a hot climate, something with a bit more alcohol to stand up to those flavors and soften those spices.”

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