Basic Oven-Roasted Fish Filets
This is our favorite way to cook fish.  It’s super-simple, and the technique is the same no matter what kind of fish you’re cooking — trout, tilapia, salmon, catfish, wild striped bass, red snapper, cod, halibut, sea bass, arctic char, you name it.  We especially love to use light, flaky white fish, like flounder and sole.  (They’re very thin, so they cook quickly.)  Serve with whatever vegetable side dishes you wish — fish prepared this simply goes well with just about anything.

ingredients

Oven Roasted Fish Fillets

Ingredients

• Extra virgin olive oil
• 2 fillets of any fish you like (approximately 6-ounces each), or 4 smaller fish filets
• Sea salt

• 1 lemon, to cut into wedges (optional)


Equipment

• Baking sheet
• Parchment paper or aluminum foil (optional)
• Paper towels
• Spoon (optional)
• Oven mitt
• Spatula

Yield

Serves 2

notes

• This recipe will work for as many fish filets as you choose to cook—it can serve 1 person, it can serve 100!  (If you’re cooking a lot of fish and 1 baking sheet seems too crowded, you should divide the fish filets between 2 baking sheets.)

• Fish filets are usually boneless, but they’ll sometimes come with bones still in them.  You can remove these bones by plucking them out with fish tweezers before you cook the fish.  However, bones actually slide out a lot more easily once fish has been cooked, at which point you can quickly pull out the bones with tweezers or you own clean fingers.

• In general, 6 ounces of fish is a nice serving size for one person.  However, if you’re serving a light eater, you could probably use a somewhat smaller portion; for a very hungry person, you might make a slightly larger portion.

• Sometimes, rather than purchasing an individual fish filet for each person you’re serving, you can buy a whole big side of fish.  (The recipe will stay the same.)  Especially when entertaining, it can be nice to serve this one large piece of fish (family style, on a platter) and allow everyone to cut off his or her own portion.

• Note that this recipe will also work for fish steaks, large sides of fish, and even whole fish.

• When shopping for fish, if you’re not sure how much to buy or have other questions about fish, you can always ask your fishmonger (aka fish salesman).  He or she will surely be able to advise you.

• If you want, you can sprinkle spices on the fish along with the sea salt.  A little paprika works nicely.

• Allow any leftover fish to cool, and then store it in a plastic bag or container, or on a plate covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.  Try to eat it within a day or two.  We prefer eating leftover fish cold, rather than reheating it, and like to use it in sandwiches and on salads.

• For more ideas how to use leftover fish, and more info on fish in general, check out our guide, All About Fish.


instructions


1. Preheat oven to 450˚F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (This will prevent food from sticking and make cleanup easier.)  Pour a drop of extra virgin olive oil onto the prepared baking sheet and rub it in with your hand or a paper towel.

2. Pat fish filets dry with paper towels.  As you dry each filet, lay it on the prepared baking sheet, being sure to leave a little space between filets, as this will help them to cook evenly.  If your fish filets have skin on them, lay the filets skin side-down on the baking sheet. (The skin will come off easily once the fish is cooked.)

3. Sprinkle fish filets with sea salt and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil. (Roughly 1-2 teaspoons of oil per small fish filet; about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon per large filet.  You basically want to use enough oil to coat the top of the fish.  If desired, you can spread the oil over the fish filets using the back of a spoon or your own clean fingers.)

4. Place baking sheet in the oven and cook until fish filets are fully cooked.  (You can cut lemon wedges while the fish is in the oven.)  Very thin fish, like sole, can take as little as 6-8 minutes to cook.  Medium-thick fish filets (like striped bass) can take closer to 12 minutes, while thicker filets (cod, halibut) may take around 15 or 16 minutes.  Note, however, that these cooking times are only guidelines, and that they can always vary depending on the size of the fish filets and the strength of your oven. 

5. Here’s the best way to check if fish is done cooking: when you suspect that the fish might be ready, carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven.  (Be sure to close the oven door promptly.)  Press on the fish with the back of a spoon or with your finger.  (Make sure your hands are clean and be careful, as the fish may be hot.)  If the fish flakes apart easily, it’s cooked.  If the fish still seems quite firm, as if it’s pushing back at you rather than falling apart, then it needs to cook a little longer.  (Fish filets cook quickly, so you should check on them again every couple minutes.)

6. When the fish filets are done cooking, transfer them to serving plates using a spatula.  (If you don’t have a spatula, try using a couple large serving spoons instead.)  If you want, you can spoon some of the pan juices over the fish.  (The juices are very flavorful.)  Serve with lemon wedges, if desired, for squeezing over the fish.

step-by-step


Roasted Carrots Step
1
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Roasted Carrots Step
2
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  (This will prevent food from sticking and make cleanup easier.)

Roasted Carrots Step
3
Pour a drop of extra virgin olive oil onto the prepared baking sheet...

Roasted Carrots Step
4
...and rub it in.  (You can use your hand or a paper towel.)

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
5
Pat fish filets dry with paper towels.

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
6
As you dry each fish filet, lay it on the prepared baking sheet.  Be sure to leave a little space between the fish filets, as this will help them to cook evenly.  (If fish filets have skin on them, lay the filets skin side-down on the baking sheet.  The skin will come off easily once the fish is cooked.)

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
7
Sprinkle fish filets lightly with sea salt…

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
8
…and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (roughly 1-2 teaspoons per small fish filet; about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon per large filet).

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
9
If desired, spread oil over the fish filets using your own clean fingers or the back of a spoon.

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
10
Place baking sheet in the oven and cook until fish filets are fully cooked.  (You can cut lemon wedges while the fish is in the oven.

Very thin fish, like sole, can take as little as 6-8 minutes to cook.  Medium-thick fish filets (like striped bass) can take closer to 12 minutes, while thicker filets (cod, halibut) may take around 15 or 16 minutes. 

Note, however, that these cooking times are only guidelines, and that they can always vary depending on the size of the fish filets and strength of your oven.

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
11
Here’s the best way to check if fish is done cooking: when you suspect that the fish might be ready, carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven.  (Be sure to close the oven door promptly.)  Press on the fish with the back of a spoon…
Roasted Fish Fillets
…or with your finger.  (Make sure your hands are clean and be careful, as the fish may be hot.)  If the fish flakes apart easily, it’s cooked.  If the fish still seems quite firm, as if it’s pushing back at you rather than falling apart, then it needs to cook a little longer.  (Fish filets cook quickly, so you should check on them again every couple minutes.)

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
12
When fish filets are done cooking, transfer them to serving plates using a spatula. (If you don’t have a spatula, try using a couple large serving spoons instead.)

Roasted Fish Fillets Step
13
If you’d like, you can spoon some of the pan juices over the fish.  (These juices are very flavorful.)  Serve with lemon wedges, if desired, to squeeze over the fish.

 

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