Tips&TricksSeasonal scent woes: Nifty tips to keep your holiday fish fry from stinking up the house

Seasonal scent woes: Nifty tips to keep your holiday fish fry from stinking up the house

There is a way to fry fish without the smell permeating the entire house.
There is a way to fry fish without the smell permeating the entire house.
Images source: © Getty Images | Photographer © Oliver Strewe / LPI

7:02 PM EST, December 17, 2023

We are approaching the season when carps and other fish show up on almost all Polish Christmas Eve tables. Although it is a loved traditional dish, the odors that accompany its preparation are less desirable. So how can we address the unpleasant smell of fish, particularly during frying? We will explore this challenge today.

It seems we grapple with this issue every year..

Even if you're a massive fish fan, cooking it in your kitchen can sometimes be a strain. The fish scent can linger in your kitchen and dining room long after eating, washing up, and loading the dishes into the dishwasher. The key point to remember is that truly fresh fish shouldn't have any smell. So, if you open a package of fish and involuntarily recoil from an unpleasant smell, dispose of it immediately - it's certainly not fresh. However, even the freshest fish might leave a slight "smell" in the house after being cooked.

Get your kitchen and home ready for frying fish

Before you start cooking fish for the holidays, take some preparatory actions. Shut all internal doors to prevent the scent from spreading across the house and into bedrooms. Simultaneously, open the windows and kitchen doors for suitable ventilation. Also, remember to promptly clean up any spills and discard garbage containing fish remnants to limit the lingering odors.

Should you fry fish, or maybe not?

The smells that occur when cooking fish largely come down to the cooking method. Frying can leave a powerful smell, but other techniques like steaming fish in foil or paper can help manage this issue.

If the smell of fried fish is particularly bothersome to you, it may be worth exploring these different methods. Many chefs recommend neutralizing the smell before frying by soaking the fish in milk or a lemon water solution.

How can you efficiently eliminate the fish smell while frying?

One practical approach to eliminating the fish smell while frying is to use potatoes. Just before you begin frying, peel a potato and cut it into small bits. As you start frying the fish, add the potato pieces to the oil you're using. This may not completely neutralize the fish smell, but it significantly helps to reduce it.

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