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How to Bake Whitefish With Butter

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
How to Bake Whitefish With Butter
White fish with butter and cherry tomatoes in aluminum foil. Photo Credit: Paul Cowan/iStock/Getty Images

Whitefish can refer to any of almost 30 different types of fish, mainly freshwater varieties. These fish are usually mild in flavor and make for a quick, no-fuss preparation. When baking a lean version, such as pollock, catfish, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, tilapia, flounder, snapper, striped bass or haddock, add a little fat in the form of butter for flavor and moisture. Pair with steamed vegetables, a modest portion of brown rice or quinoa, and you've got a healthy dinner for almost any day of the week.

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Step 1

Shop for creamy white fillets with no signs of yellowing, a signal that the fish is not fresh. Inspect the edges of the fillet, which should show no dullness or browning. The flakes should hug each other tightly in the center and not look as though they are separating. Sniff to ensure your fish has no noticeable fishy odor; it may faintly smell earthy or briny. Prepare within one to two days of bringing it home.

Step 2

Ensure the baking pan is large enough to fit all of the fillets in one layer with no overlap. Prepare the pan for baking by spraying with cooking spray or oiling with the olive oil.

Step 3

Unwrap the fish and run your fingers across to detect any bones your fishmonger may have missed. Remove with needle-nose pliers or a tool designed for removing fish bones.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in a small pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Step 5

Lay the fish fillets in one layer in the baking pan and baste with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add any other herbs or spices you desire. Good choices include paprika, oregano and thyme.

Step 6

Place in the oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes for every pound of fish. The fish is ready when it flakes with a fork.

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