High in protein and low in saturated fat, cod fillets also provide a boost of iodine and potassium. The white fish bakes quickly in the oven and doesn't demand complicated preparation. Baked, non-oily fish such as cod does benefit from a topping to moisten it , however, because oven-cooking is more of a drying process than poaching or frying.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together a coating to flavor the cod and provide moisture during the baking process. Effective options include low-fat mayonnaise mixed with flavoring agents at a ratio of about 2 parts mayonnaise to 1 part flavoring agents.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the mayonnaise coating, if desired. Drizzle a small amount of melted butter or low-fat spread over the breadcrumbs.
Put the cod fillets in the baking dish or on a rimmed sheet, and set them in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
Remove the fish from the oven when a cooking thermometer confirms an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and the fish flakes easily.
Things You'll Need
Baking dish or rimmed sheet
Non-stick cooking spray
Flavoring agents, such as mustard, lemon juice and spices
Melted butter or low-fat spread (optional)
For the lowest-fat baked cod option, brush both sides of the fillets with equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, and top with tomatoes before baking in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for at least 10 minutes. Because these fillets don't have a creamy topping with breadcrumbs to protect them from the dry heat of the oven, cover the fillets with aluminum foil to provide internal steaming.
Aside from plain breadcrumbs, additional crust options include whole-wheat breadcrumbs to boost fiber content, or ground nuts for additional protein and healthy fat.
Brush the fillets with egg whites, mayonnaise or mustard to help the breadcrumbs, nuts -- or a mixture of both -- adhere to the cod.
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