How Long to Bake Fish?

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General Guidance

Baking fish is an easy way to prepare a delicious entree that is extremely good for you. When cooking without a recipe, the Washington State Health Department advises that an easy rule of thumb to follow is to bake fresh fish in a preheated 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. The Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) gives similar advice but recommends using a preheated 450 degree oven. Frozen fish can be baked without thawing; just increase the time to 20 minutes for each inch of thickness. After you remove the fish from the oven, let it stand for three or four minutes to complete cooking. If cooking a 1-inch-thick fish steak, bake it five minutes per side. However, if the fish is a half-inch or less, it does not need to be turned and can be cooked on one side. If baking in a sauce or foil, add five minutes to the time.


Since eating fish decreases heart disease, the American Heart Association suggests eating baked or broiled fish recipes at least once a week to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. its website has a number of heart healthy recipes for preparing fish (see Resources). The Crispy Baked Fillet of Sole, which uses fillets of sole dredged in bread crumbs and with an Asian marinade, requires the fish to be cooked at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. The Pasta-Crusted Fish with Marinara Sauce calls for the fillets to be baked at 450 degrees for approximately eight minutes and then topped with a heated marinara sauce before serving.

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Two indicators that the fish is sufficiently done are flakiness and an opaque color. Put the end of a knife or a fork into the thickest part of the baked fish and pull. Seeing flakes separate is a good indicator that the fish is done. An opaque fish looks milky white rather than clear. When the fish becomes dull rather than shiny, it is probably done. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends checking the internal temperature of the fish. It should register 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius).

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