What you’ll need
Brining fish with salt before cooking is a helpful, but not crucial, step. The brine mixture adds flavor and firmness to the fish as it extracts excess moisture from the flesh which can make it stick to the pan during cooking. Lean white fish like cod and rockfish benefit greatly from a quick, dry brine. After brining, cook the fish as directed.
1. Quick 6% brine: Dissolve 5 tablespoons kosher or coarse salt in 2 quarts of cold water. Soak the fish in brine for a maximum of 12 minutes. Remove the fish from the brine and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
2. Slow 4.7% brine: If you have time, try this less concentrated brine solution. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of kosher or coarse salt and 3 tablespoons white sugar in 1 quart of cold water. Soak the fish for 5 hours and up to 12 hours. Remove the fish from the brine and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
3. Dry brine(cure): Pat the fillet dry with paper towels and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let rest for 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.