How to Cook Fish Without Oil

Fish makes a healthy addition to any diet plan, unless you’re only eating fried fish.
Image Credit: LauriPatterson/E+/GettyImages

Fish makes a healthy addition to any diet plan, unless you're only eating fried fish. But there are many delicious ways of cooking fish without oil to reap the health benefits. Additionally, fried fish is as detrimental to your health as any other fried food.


Fried Fish and Health

According to the nutrition experts at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, eating two servings of fish a week improves heart health and may reduce your risk of stroke, depression and Alzheimer's disease. But the fish they're referring to isn't the fried fish served at your local fish fry or favorite seafood restaurant. In fact, fried fish may have the opposite effect on your health.


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Read more: Which Fish Has the Highest and Lowest Mercury Levels?

According to an October 2015 review published in Nutrients, fried fish may increase your risk of heart disease and heart failure. It's also been suggested that eating fried fish too many times a week may increase your risk of having a stroke, according to an older January 2011 national cohort study published in Neurology.


To get the benefits associated with fish, you need fish recipes without oil that use healthier cooking methods, such as baking, grilling or poaching. However, with a little cooking know-how, you can create a fried fish taste without frying your fish.

Read more: 7 Fish Recipes That Are Great for Your Heart

Cooking Fish Without Oil

Baking your fish in the oven is an easy and simple way of cooking fish without oil. According to the cooking experts at Better Homes & Gardens, you can have your fish on the table in six minutes or less when baked in the oven.


To cook a fish fillet (1/2-inch thick), begin by first preheating your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a little oil on your baking sheet so your fillets don't stick to the pan. Place your fillets on the sheet, season both sides with salt and pepper, and then place in the oven. Check your fillets at the four-minute mark to check for doneness, which means flaky flesh and milky-white juices in the pan.

Grilling is a great way to add flavor to your fish without the fat. To prevent your fish from drying out, preheat your grill on high before you begin cooking. After seasoning your fish with salt and pepper, place it on the grill. Cooking time depends on the thickness of your fillet. Eight minutes per inch per side (or four minutes per 1/2-inch) is the general rule of thumb for cooking fish on the grill, according to the official Weber website.



For flavor and moisture, poaching is another way of cooking fish without oil. You can use any liquid that suits your tastes, such as white wine or broth. You can even use water flavored with leeks, slices of lemon (with the peel) and a bay leaf. To poach your fish, first heat your liquid on the stove, add your fish fillets and bring the liquid to a boil. Then move your fish off the heat and let the fillets cook for seven to 10 minutes.

Read more: Is Cod a Healthy Fish to Eat?


Fish Fry Without Oil

While it's technically not possible to fry fish without oil, you can create tasty fish recipes without oil that you may like just as much as the fried, and they're better for you. Consider a fish fry without oil Kerala style. Kerala is located on the southwestern side of India and known for its flavorful cuisine.

For your fish fry without oil Kerala style, in a small bowl combine ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chili powder, coconut powder, ground pepper, salt and lemon juice to create a paste. Coat your fillets with your spice mixture and bake in the oven as recommended above.


You can also coat your fish in sesame seeds or Panko bread crumbs before baking in the oven for a crunchy crust. Or dip your fillets in an egg wash (egg whites work too) and then coat in cornmeal flavored with paprika, salt and pepper. When "frying" your coated fish in the oven, you need to bake your fish fillet for 10 minutes, then turn and bake for another five to 10 minutes to get the crispy texture you're looking for.




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