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by Maggie Fox June 30, 2023

The latest in our video series: Top 5 Uses for Kitchen Scissors

This weeks' video is short and sweet, and really more about the technical reasons why scissors are so great for cutting fish than how to cut fish (unless you're cleaning a whole one, it's pretty straightforward!)

While I would love to have knives as sharp as those of a professional chef, and we do take care of our knives, I've still had the experience of having to work to slice through the skin on a piece of salmon or (regional reference) pickerel. Sometimes it feels like you're chasing the damn fish around as it slips and slides. It's messy and harder than it should be.

micro serration on scissor blade

Here's why a quality pair of kitchen scissors can help: micro-serration. The lower blade on any good pair of scissors has tiny grooves that serve to grip and hold whatever is being cut so that the top blade can come down and slice cleanly. It totally changes the game when it comes to stability and control.

In keeping with our past posts in this series, we're also excited to share one of our favourite related recipes. It's inspired by one in the very first cookbook I ever bought for myself, Nancie McDermott's Real Thai: The Best of Thailand's Regional Cooking. Published in 1992, this important work helped make Thai cooking accessible for the first time for many North Americans living outside major cities. I still have this book and reference it regularly - Nancie's recipe for poh pia tod (Thai spring rolls) remains the best I've ever had!

pallares primera everyday kitchen scissors

Easy Steamed Fish
(serves 4)
2lb of firm fish, filleted & cut into 4 portions, skin on
1 small bunch green onions, minced
2" ginger, grated, about 2tbsp
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1-2 thai chilis, pith/seeds removed, finely diced
Banana leaves & twine for steaming package
Generous handfuls of torn coriander for garnish

If the banana leaves are frozen, set them aside to defrost or run briefly under warm water. Using your best kitchen scissors, cut two sections, both large enough to wrap around the fish. Place one on your work surface, and then place the other crosswise. Set fish in the centre.

Combine all other ingredients into a wet paste, and coat the top of the fish. It should be a pleasant combination of flecked red, green and yellow. Fold the banana leaves to create a sealed parcel and wrap with twine to secure.

You may bake (at 350F) or grill the parcel for 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. The liquid inside the packet will steam it. Serve on the opened banana leaves and garnish with coriander.

Note: Banana leaves may sound like an unusual item to have in your kitchen, but they are renewable, recyclable in the green bin or garden, easy to store in your freezer and have a much lower carbon footprint than tinfoil. They're also inexpensive and available in the frozen section of any Asian grocery.

Using Kitchen Scissors #2: Cutting Fish


READ MORE: Why Quality Scissors Belong in Your Kitchen


Video #1: Ditch that Cutting Board!
Video #3: Kitchen Prep
Video #4: Shelling a Whole Lobster
Video #5: Spatchcocking Chicken

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