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Hone your kitchen skills in the Second Semester

For many people a portion of fish per week is a must on the home menu. But with the freshest of Australian seafood that we have available on the South Coast you’ll want to be sure to make the right selection of fish at the co-op—and the right preparation decisions in the kitchen. Bega TAFE NSW commercial cookery teacher, David Arens, has offered to share some advice to help you bring home the perfect fish for your dish. The TAFE NSW Bega and Moruya campuses are great supporters of having fresh local seafood on the menu advising students that with the right preparation seafood has a lot to offer in flavor and nutrition. “We have an abundance of seafood in our local area and this is a great time of year for fishing locally,” Mr Arens said. “I have a friend who recently caught mahi mahi dolphin fish, they’re also starting to catch tuna, and there’s king fish in the area. If you’re buying fish, rather than catching it fresh, he said it was important to know what you are looking for. TAFE NSW Moruya commercial cookery teacher Louise Hicks adds "If you are buying the fish whole, I suggest going for one that has a lustrous sheen, bright colours and bright red gills. The eyes should be shiny and full. When buying fillets look for a fish with a firm appearance. Fillets and whole fish should smell fresh like the sea or like seaweed,” Ms Hicks said. When it comes to cooking fillets Mr Arens recommends a hot pan and if you are going to leave the skin on cook it skin side down first. “If it is a large fillet always transfer it into a hot oven, depending on the thickness of the fillet, maybe just four to five minutes in a moderately hot oven to finish it. “A little bit of butter in the pan will really help crisp the fish up on the outside. Fish has become expensive, so if you choose to fillet the fish yourself it’s important not to leave too much meat on the bone. Mr Arens knows the difference a little knowledge can make when it comes to filleting fish. “TAFE NSW Bega and Moruya can help you get the most from your fish. Knife skills are part of our non-trade kitchen operations course which will be running in second semester. It’s a perfect way to get a taste for commercial cookery. It’s also a great way to pick up some professional kitchen tips. “Salmon is probably the most popular fish. Everyone knows salmon, so most people go with as a good place to start before branching out.”

Above: TAFE NSW Bega commercial cookery teacher David Arens and TAFE NSW Moruya commercial cookery teacher Louise Hicks share their tips for choosing the right fish. For more information on the courses visit :

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