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How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven

by
author image Karen Curinga
Karen Curinga has been writing published articles since 2003 and is the author of multiple books. Her articles have appeared in "UTHeath," "Catalyst" and more. Curinga is a freelance writer and certified coach/consultant who has worked with hundreds of clients. She received a Bachelor of Science in psychology.
How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

If you're looking for a fish that's tasty, low in fat and calories, and high in protein -- and that can be prepared a number of ways -- catfish could be your answer. A 3-ounce serving of catfish contains approximately 1 gram of saturated fat, 100 calories and 13 grams of protein. While many varieties of catfish exist, restaurants and seafood markets typically offer channel catfish. Although this type of catfish is typically farm-raised, it's one of the cleanest and safest grown food proteins available in today's market, according to Southern Regional Aquaculture Center of Texas A&M. By following a few tips, you can serve a whole, oven-baked catfish as a healthy alternative to meat.

Step 1

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Rinse the catfish under cool tap water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 3

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Cover the inside of a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil. Place several lemon slices and sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley or oregano, on the foil in the center of the baking sheet.

Step 4

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Cut three 1/2-inch-deep diagonal slits on each external side of the fish, using a sharp knife. Scoring the fish helps distribute the heat so the fish cooks evenly.

Step 5

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Sprinkle the outside of the entire catfish with kosher salt and then drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil. Lay the whole catfish on the baking sheet on top of the lemon slices and herbs.

Step 6

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Rub the inside of the fish with kosher salt and olive oil. Place additional lemon slices and fresh herbs, along with a bay leaf, in the fish cavity. If you're a garlic lover, you can include a couple of crushed cloves with your fresh herbs.

Step 7

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Close the fish and lay several thin slices of fresh lemon and additional fresh herbs on the side that's facing up.

Step 8

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Bend the edges of the aluminum foil up to create a makeshift baking dish around the fish and to hold the juices that are created during cooking.

Step 9

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake until the fish is cooked thoroughly, typically up to 30 minutes for a 2- to 2 1/2-pound fish.

Step 10

How to Cook Whole Catfish in the Oven
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the whole catfish to a warm platter before serving.

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