Did you wake up to the scent of last night’s fish dinner? Or worse, come home after a long day only to be greeted by the smell of dead fish?
First, here’s what not to do: do not light a scented candle. Doing so will produce the same cacophony of odors French prostitutes in bygone days created by dousing themselves in cheap perfume. You just don’t want to go there.
Don’t blame the scent on bad fish. Even good fish can make your house smell, well, fishy. It’s also not a matter of bad cooking technique, so don’t blame yourself. If you feel a strong need to blame someone, put it on the Kitchen Witch. She clearly didn’t have your back.
I do, though. I am going to tell you how to get rid of that nasty odor– and also how to hedge your bets against it happening again. (No guarantees on the latter, but it will help.) This solution for eradicating the smell really works, albeit with a small, innocuous side effect.
After you cook fish, bring about an inch of white vinegar to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, just vigorously enough that the vinegar gives off a decent amount of steam, for about an hour. The side effect is that your house will smell like a salad for a an hour or two, but salad smell is clean and fresh, and far preferable to fish smell. It is well worth noting that this also works to cut that headache-inducing odor after you’ve painted your house. Sadly, I can tell you from personal experience that it is ineffective when your dog has been skunked.
Now, you also want to do everything you can to prevent that smell. As I said above, it is not a guarantee, but to help avoid smelling up your house when you cook fish, be sure to open a window or start your fan BEFORE you start cooking. Otherwise, that odor has a chance to linger; to settle in to all the nooks and crannies of your kitchen. Like certain houseguests, it is best to not let it get too comfortable in the first place.
Now that you know how to conquer the dreaded Stinky Fish Smell, you will want to run right out and cook some fish. Below is a robustly flavorful, healthful salmon dish that you can make in less than 15 minutes. And just think, your house will smell fresh as a spring salad.
Before you go, a few quick updates. As we are madly working on getting the manuscript for our upcoming book, Hero Dinners, to our editor by July 1st, we have also created a couple of new social media venues. Take a look at the food we’re creating for the book (and other stuff, too) on Instagram at @HeroDinners, and our joint Marge Perry and David Bonom Facebook page Please follow and join our journey!
Also, as long as you are now on cooking fish and seafood, I would suggest you to try this recipe for Mussels in Coconut Chili Broth we created for Anolon. It is one of my two favorite ways to eat mussels: this is the other.