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I have very little experience in cooking fish (of any type, using any method). So I was wondering, what type of fish is suited for baking?

For reference, recently came across this recipe: which looks nice and simple. However the recipe simply says "fish fillets - no bones".


ps. the last time I tried baking fish, it turned out to be horrible - tougher then over-done steak!

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talon8 is right that you need to be careful about overcooking - but luckily for you, baking is a relatively slow way to cook, so if you keep a good eye on it, you ought to be able to make wonderful fish in the oven. – Jefromi Apr 7 '11 at 15:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

To answer your main question, you can bake very just about any type of fish.

Looking at that recipe though, down in the "tips" section, it suggests you use a flaky white fish. So in that category, you have lots of options, snapper, cod, tilapia, for starters. Their flavours are often a little more mild and will pair nicely with the tomatoes and other flavours in there.

If you're prone to overcooking it, take it out sooner. I find many fish recipes that give cooking times tend to get you to overcook it. It'd done as soon as the fish "flakes" fully. Leave it any longer it will start to toughen quickly.

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The baking technique is more important than the type of fish. With the right technique, most fish can be baked without being tough and dry. That said, there are fish that are less well-suited. You'll have to be especially careful with whitefish (as opposed to oily fish) such as cod or haddock since they have less fat and will dry out quicker. In addition, smaller fish with thinner fillets can be less forgiving.

Here is a great article that has more on technique.

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Oily fish (such as salmon) will be MUCH more forgiving of slight overcooking than a very lean fish such as tilapia. If you're using white fish, check it more often, and remove it from the oven as soon as it's fully firm. If you don't intend to serve it immediately (as in it's going to be 10 minutes before you actually eat it), you can even remove it a bit before it's fully cooked and let the residual heat finish the cooking in the center. – Martha F. Apr 10 '11 at 21:02

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