Whether you fancy testing some exotic tilapia fish recipes or perhaps a delicious baked catfish recipe, you might think that baking fish is easy. It is indeed an uncomplicated way of cooking fish but there are a few tips and tricks you should know, to guarantee your baked fish recipes turn out great.
Baking cooks fish quickly at a high temperature and you can bake fish fillets, steaks, whole fish, or seafood.
Baking is a very popular method for cooking fish but a lot of people worry about their fish drying out in the oven. If you leave it cooking for even a few minutes too long, the fish might turn out dry. Fish contains natural oil and if you cook it too long, this oil is removed. You need to check the fish quite often while is cooking and know how long to cook it and at what temperature. Also, remember that fish continues to cook a bit more after you have taken it out of the oven.
Choosing and Preparing Your Fish
When you buy a fish, check the eyes are clear, bright, and slightly protruded and the gills are pink or red. If the eyes are sunken, cloudy, or pink and the gills are gray, the fish is stale.
No matter whether you are shopping for fish for tilapia fish recipes, a spicy baked catfish dish, or something else, the same rules apply. The fresher the fish, the more successful your fish recipes will be.
In order to get the best results from your baked fish recipes, you need to make sure the fish is defrosted properly. Frozen fish is just as nutritious as fresh fish and keeps in the freezer for weeks or even months, depending on the fish. You should defrost the fish on the lower shelves of the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.
If you need it quicker than that, you can submerge it in cold water with 3 or 4 tablespoons of salt. This takes a couple of hours. If you have defrosted fish or fresh fish in the refrigerator, use it within 24 hours for the best results.
If you soak the fish in water with a little vinegar before baking it, it will turn out to be sweeter, more tender and hold its shape better. Another tip is to marinate the fish fillets in salt and lemon before baking. This makes them easier to handle and gives a fresh taste and firmer flesh.
Fish contains natural fish oils so you do not need to add fat or oil before baking if you do not want to. There are plenty of baked tilapia recipes, for example, which call for thinly sliced vegetables or seasoned breadcrumbs on top of the fish, to keep it juicy throughout cooking. Another tip is to brush a small amount of butter or oil on top of the fish before baking it.
The general rule with fish baking is to bake the fish for 10 minutes for every inch of its thickness. 450F is a suitable temperature for most baked fish recipes. Unless the fish is an inch or less thick, you should turn it half way through the cooking time.
Tuck thin ends underneath to make sure the fillets cook evenly. Cooking times also vary depending how dense the fish is. Your fish is ready when you can flake it easily with a fork at its thickest point, when it is 145F internally or when it is opaque all the way through.
To stop fish sticking to the baking dish, you can place it on a bed of onions, celery, or both. This makes the fish stay in one piece when removing it from the baking dish and gives it some extra flavor.