Oven Poached Fish Fillets

One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants would often offer Red Snapper, or Sole fillets served this way.

Yesterday my local fish market offered fresh Dover Sole for $3.99 per pound.

It was a no-brainer as to what my choice for dinner would be.

Prepared this way it only takes a few minutes to bake, and you can serve the fish with any kind of sauce you like, lemon-butter, hollandaise, or simply a squeeze of lemon.

This time I spread just a little garlic-mayonnaise on the tops when they were barely finished baking, then placed them under the broiler for a moment so as not to overcook. You can skip the broiler finish entirely though.

Preparing fish this way could hardly be easier, just make sure any bones are removed, roll the filets (not too tightly), place them in a baking dish, arrange the rolls in the dish so the loose end is underneath.

I lightly butter the dish, but not necessary if you're really watching fat intake.

Sometimes the fillets will be of irregular sizes as mine were last night. If some are unusually small double them up and roll as one; the object is to try to keep each bundle approximately the same size so they will cook evenly.

Sprinkle few herbs or slices of lemon over if you like, then add liquid of your choice to a depth of about 1/2-inch to 1-inch. I use water and a little non-sweet white wine, but plain water or fish stock works equally well. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

This time I used a bay leaf, a few whole pepper corns (pink, green and white), a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and some blades of chive. Some like to dot the fish with butter before baking, I didn't this time.

Have the oven preheated to 350-degrees (F), center rack.

I place a piece of parchment paper loosely over the top of the baking dish (helps to retain some of the steam and keeps fish from drying out.)

The baking time will depend upon the size of the fillets and the baking dish; as soon as the poaching liquid begins forming small bubbles around the edge of the pan keep an eye on it. The fish will become opaque and will shrink up slightly when it is finished cooking. Use the tip of a sharp knife to test one of the larger fillets, it should just barely begin to flake.

There will be carry-over cooking from the retained heat, so it's okay to remove the fish a few moments before it is completely done. Allow it to sit in the pan for a couple of minutes, then plate up using a slotted spoon or spatula. Finish with a favorite sauce if desired.

To serve I made a marinated fresh mushroom salad, as well as some roasted vegetables with orzo (rice shaped pasta) to go with. A healthy meal for very little money! (As long as the fish is reasonably priced, that is.) Good point Linda! xo


  1. beautiful colors and delicious looking meal!

  2. Beautiful presentation! I will have to try this one soon.

  3. OMG...that looks so delicious!
    Sole is about $14.00 a pound here at the moment....
    I can not wait to try this!

  4. Hi there,
    Everything looks absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try some of the baked items! Your blog is lovely. Can you tell me how you installed the visitor counter. I installed it, but it doesn't move or display how many visits? Can you help? Thanks so much!


  5. Looks great, Mari! When do you rest? LOL, you always come up with the best meals! and pictures :)

  6. Mari...even at $14.00 a pound this still looks wonderful and well worth it, you fish looks just beautiful and so fresh!!

    btw...I love your new colors!
    L xoxoxo

  7. Mari, that sole looks so good. I could eat seafood every day of the week.

  8. This is so beautifully presented that even when I'm not such a good fan of fish I want to make that recipe now... ;) thanks for sharing your delicious culinary secrets...



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