Why does cooking fish take a lot less time than cooking a steak?
In the kitchen, we soon learn that white fish cooks much more quickly than red meat, and it’s more than just color.
Fish muscles don’t get to be as strong as those of other animals.
Fish have a very different kind of muscle tissue from that of most land animals. Fish need quick, high-powered bursts of speed to escape an enemy, so fish muscles are shorter and thinner than the big, slow muscle fibers of most land animals.
They’re easier to tear apart and easier to break down chemically by cooking. That’s why fish is tender enough to eat raw in sushi.
You can’t do that with steak.
Fish is more tender because fish live in a weightless environment, so they have less connective tissue such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
For all these reasons, the main problem with fish is to keep from cooking it too much.
It should be cooked until it becomes opaque, pretty much like the protein in the white of an egg.
The usual rule of thumb is eight to 10 minutes of cooking per inch of thickness.