Despite being a convenient way to keep proteins on hand, many people choose to steer clear of frozen fish in order to avoid the thawing process. It’s true: defrosting a fish fillet can take some time. Seeing as microwaving frozen fish can dry it out, most experts would have you thaw your fish in the fridge, a maneuver that can require 24 hours and therefore take a “quick” dinner off the table.
However, despite popular belief, it is possible to cook tender, flaky fish straight from the freezer. That’s right: you can skip the thawing process altogether and move your fish straight from the freezer to the roasting pan. Don’t believe us? Follow our convenient guide for oven roasting frozen fish, and we guarantee you’ll have dinner on the table in no time.
How To Cook Frozen Fish
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Step 2: Remove your fish fillet from the freezer and from its packaging (for tips on the best way to freeze fish, check out our guide).
Step 3: Rinse the fillet under cold water to remove any ice crystals, then pat the fish dry.
Step 4: Arrange the fish in a single layer on a baking sheet like you normally would when oven roasting, and brush lightly with oil on all sides.
Step 5: Bake for 12–15 minutes—thicker pieces will need a little more time.
Step 6: Remove and enjoy!
Easier than shooting fish in a barrel (which we don’t condone!). Before pulling that fillet out of the freezer though, be sure to consider these frozen fish dos and don’ts.
DO choose leaner fish like Tilapia, which naturally have a lower water content than some other varieties and will better retain their shape and texture.
DON’T try cooking fattier fish with this method, as they can become soggy when cooked straight from the freezer.
DO consider marinating your fish before roasting to add a little more flavor.
DON’T expect to get crispy skin. Unfortunately, with frozen fish, this is fairly impossible to achieve.
Fish is a fantastic, healthy dinner option for the whole family, and there’s absolutely no reason why you need to stick to purchasing only fresh fish—a habit that can lead people with busy schedules to consider fish a once-in-a-while treat. Stocking your freezer with responsibly sourced frozen fish means that you always have a great meal option at your disposal—and using these tips, you are guaranteed to have a tasty meal on the table in 30 minutes or less.
If you do have the time and would rather defrost your fish before cooking, step away from the microwave! Discover the right way to do it with our guide to defrosting fish.
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Photo Credits: Andrey Smirnov / Shutterstock Inc., alisafarov / Shutterstock Inc., Peredniankina / Shutterstock Inc.