With its brightly flavored pan sauce of butter, lemon and fresh basil, this simple recipe for oven-fried fish is an easy way to dress up fish fillets for a great weeknight dinner.
How To Make Oven-Fried Fish
Any mild flavored, relatively thin white fish will work with this recipe. We’ve made it multiple times using tilapia, catfish, snapper and barramundi (pictured) and the results are great every time.
Oven-frying the fish not only cuts back on fat and calories, it makes it easy to cook delicate fillets to perfection without worrying about them breaking or crumbling.
Making oven-fried fish is a simple process. You simply dip each fillet in a mix of beaten egg and milk, then coat them in lightly seasoned dry breadcrumbs, give them a spritz of olive oil spray and bake.
The pan sauce only takes five minutes and you can do that while the fish is in the oven.
As soon as the fish is crisp and cooked through, spoon on the sauce and you’re ready to serve. Fast, easy and delicious!
Recommended Fish For This Recipe
In order for the fish to cook through while the coating crisps without getting too brown, you’ll want to choose fillets that are 1/2-inch thick at most.
As mentioned above, we’ve oven-fried catfish, tilapia and snapper, but our new favorite for this dish (and many others) is barramundi.
What Is Barramundi?
If you’re not already familiar, Barramundi (aka Asian Sea Bass or Giant Perch) is a white-fleshed ocean fish native to Northern Australian and Southeast Asian waters. It has a mild, buttery flavor and delicate, yet firm texture.
Barramundi is a naturally disease-resistant fish that can be sustainably farmed without antibiotics and hormones, and because they eat a primarily plant-based diet, they’re free from contaminants like mercury and PCBs as well.
In addition, barramundi is low in calories, high in protein and has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than any other white-fleshed fish.
All these factors combined make barramundi a healthful seafood choice that’s both versatile and very easy to prepare.
Where To Buy Barramundi
Look for Australis Barramundi in the frozen section of your grocer’s seafood department.
Australis is a producer of farmed barramundi whose commitment to environmentally conscious aquaculture practices has earned them a “Best Choice” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, certification from Whole Foods Market and numerous other accolades and partnerships.
Their barramundi is flash-frozen immediately after harvesting to preserve flavor and texture, and you can find it in Whole Foods Markets across the country as well as Costco, BJ’s and Stop & Shop.
We first tried Australis Barramundi as part of the Sustainable Seafood Box from Thrive Market, a collection of individually portioned fish and seafood delivered straight to your door.
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Oven-Fried Fish with Lemon Basil Butter
Fresh lemon, basil and butter combine to make a simple, flavorful pan sauce to spoon over crispy, oven-fried fish fillets.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Main Dishes
- Cuisine: American
- 1-1/4 lbs fish fillets (tilapia, catfish, barramundi, snapper)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and thoroughly coat a large, rimmed baking sheet with olive oil spray (or regular nonstick spray).
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well for this).
- Combine the breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder and a few grinds of black pepper in another shallow dish or on a sheet of wax paper.
- If necessary, cut the fish into similarly-sized portions.
- Dip each piece of fish in the egg mixture, let the excess drip off, then coat in the seasoned breadcrumbs and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
- Lightly coat the top of the fillets with olive oil spray and bake until the fish is cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes depending on thickness. For best results, turn the fillets over midway through the cooking time.
- While the fish bakes, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly softened, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice and zest and cook until the liquid has reduced and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes longer.
- Add the basil, combine well and remove from the heat.
- When the fish is done, transfer to a serving platter, spread some sauce over each fillet and serve immediately.