How to Bread Fish for Baking

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Baked, breaded fish is a delicious treat to prepare for yourself and your loved ones. Baked fish is healthier than fried fish and is highly versatile --- it can be added to sandwiches or tacos or can simply be enjoyed with a side of vegetables. There are several steps to follow while breading and baking fish, but these steps can be perfected by any home chef.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 bowls
  • 2 baking sheets (or more as needed)
  • Wax paper
  • 4 8-oz. fresh or defrosted boneless, skinless fish fillets
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Prepare fish fillets for breading by rinsing them in cold water. Thoroughly dry the fillets with a paper towel; if any moisture remains the breadcrumbs may not adhere effectively.

  • Set up a breading station on your counter. Lightly beat the eggs with the water, and put the flour, egg mixture and breading in three separate bowls. Have a baking sheet lined with wax paper ready to set your fillets on once they are breaded.

  • Bread one fillet at a time, and designate one hand as a "wet" hand and the other as the "dry" hand. Using your dry hand, dredge the fillet with flour. Ensure the fillet is completely covered in flour, and shake off any excess. The flour will absorb any extra moisture and will allow the breading to stick more readily. Switch to your wet hand, and dip the fillet in the beaten eggs, allowing only a thin layer of the egg mixture to remain on the fish. Using the same hand, transfer the fillet into the breading bowl. Turn the fillet over in the bowl, and use your dry hand to press on any breading that won't stick. Set the fillet on the baking sheet and begin breading the next fillet.

  • Allow your breaded fillets to rest in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour before you put them in the oven. This will give the breading additional time to adhere to the fillets.

  • To bake fillets, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the fillets on the baking sheet, ensuring that they aren't too close together. Grouping the fillets too close together creates steam that will cause the bread crumbs to become soggy.

  • Place the fillets in the oven. The general rule of thumb for baking fish is to bake the fish for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. If your fish is more than 1 inch in thickness, turn the fish over once halfway through its cooking time. When fish is done, it should be opaque throughout and at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most skinless, boneless fish fillets lend themselves well to breading, so your choice will depend on your personal taste preferences. If you don't enjoy fish with overpowering flavors, firm, white-fleshed fish such as cod, halibut, mahi mahi or tilapia have a mild taste and smell. Salmon, on the other hand, has a more robust fish flavor.
  • While flour and eggs are traditionally used to bread fish, other ingredients can be used. For instance, coating tilapia filets with Dijon mustard instead of flour and eggs can produce an equally delicious result.

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References

  • Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
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