Fish: Broiled, Baked and Fried

Fish: Broiled, Baked and Fried

Use these quick tips to learn all of the delicious ways to cook fish.


By: Pete Mentrek

While chicken might be the standard utilitarian protein, fish provides a lot of essential nutrients. Many people skip these versatile meats simply because they don’t know any way to prepare them. Use these tips to learn everything you need to know about selecting, broiling, baking and frying fish.

How to Select Fish

  • Buy fish the same day you intend to prepare it.
  • Skin should be bright and firm, never slimy.
  • Fish should not have a strong smell, it should smell slightly like the ocean.
  • Choose locally caught fish, if possible. The less the fish travels, the better the flavor.

Broiled Fish
Broiling fish is a quick and easy way to prepare many types of fish. With all the heat coming from above, a tasty, golden-brown crust will form, adding a depth of flavor to every bite.

Broiling Tips

  • Score the skin of the fish before broiling to prevent curling and shrinking.
  • Rub both sides of the fish with oil and place on foil before broiling.
  • Place fish filet 2 inches from the heat for every 1/2 inch of thickness. (Thicker fillets should be moved farther away to prevent surface burning and undercooking.)
  • Use broiling to imitate the flavors and textures of grilling.

Types of Fish to Broil
Use hearty fish that can stand up to high heat. For the best results:

1. Salmon
2. Trout
3. Swordfish
4. Halibut
5. Mahi-mahi

Broiling Procedure

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Season fillets and brush both sides with olive oil.
  3. Place filets on pan that’s lined with oiled foil.
  4. Place under broiler.
  5. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip fillet over and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Fish should flake apart with a fork when fully cooked.

Baked Fish
Baking fish is a perfect way to enjoy a large variety of fish without much clean up. It also lets you control the cooking temperature while limiting the amount of handling — keeping the fish moist and intact.

Baking Tips

  • Pat down fish with a paper towel before baking to ensure flesh is dry and toppings will stick.
  • Line your baking pan with foil to prevent the fish from sticking.
  • Fish should be arranged in the pan 1 to 2 inches apart to maintain crispy edges.
  • Create a golden brown crust all around by placing the filet on a baking rack.
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Types of Fish to Bake
Fillets best suited for baking are thicker, meatier ones that need time to cook. Adjust temperatures of the oven based on fillet thickness — thinner fillets need higher heat.

1. Catfish
2. Pike
3. Walleye
4. Salmon
5. Mahi-mahi
6. Trout
7. Tilapia

Baking Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 to 450 F.
  2. Score skin of fish.
  3. Pat dry with paper towel and season.
  4. Place fillets on oiled foil in a baking pan and set in oven.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until filets flake apart with a fork.

Fried Fish
Frying is a tasty way to enjoy white, flaky fish. It adds a dimension of crispiness and flavor to the fish and acts as a perfect vessel for sauces and garnishes.

Frying Tips

  • Make sure fish is patted dry before taking it through the breading procedure so all the breading ingredients stick
  • Use oil that can hold up to the heat like canola or vegetable
  • Use a kitchen thermometer to make sure oil stays at the correct temperature throughout frying
  • Fry only one or two fillets at a time, depending on the size of the pot, to avoid sticking


Types of Fish to Fry
Use firm, white fish that will hold up to breading.

1. Tilapia
2. Catfish
3. Walleye
4. Cod
5. Haddock
6. Pollock

Frying Procedure

  1. Mix 2 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Set aside.
  2. Blend 2 to 3 eggs with 1 tablespoon of milk per egg. Set aside.
  3. Pour bread crumbs in a bowl, set aside
  4. Line up bowls on the counter in this order: flour, egg mixture then breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat vegetable shortening in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 F on a thermometer.
  6. Rinse fillets, then pat dry.
  7. Coat fillets in flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs.
  8. Fry filets for 6 to 8 minutes, until floating and golden brown.
  9. Check insides for a white, opaque color.




After serving as a professional chef for over a decade, Pete decided to share his tips and tricks from professional kitchens with you the reader. He specializes in guides and tutorials that make unknown ingredients less daunting.

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Pete, other than a lemon wheel, what kind of garnish can I add that was actually around in Escoffier's day?

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