Baked Bluefish

New EnglandLow Carb

Bluefish fillets baked in foil with lemon, white wine, butter, and herbs.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The first time I encountered bluefish was in the Massachusetts kitchen of my friend Jill. Her famously unflappable son John was practically beside himself with anticipation of diving into one of the fillets his mom had prepared.

I had never heard of bluefish, which are indeed blue, both outside and in.

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They’re an east coast fish, we don’t have them on the west coast. Their season is short and they spoil very quickly, so you have to get them fresh and eat them right away. Bluefish are considered sport fishing fish because they are so aggressive.

baked bluefish in serving dish

Oddly to me, the fish isn’t that popular to eat. Perhaps because if it’s good it’s great, and if it’s off, it’s really rank.

In any case, it can be had cheaply. I bought this big fillet for $2.79 a pound. The bill came to $1.89, which is just unheard of for good fish where I live.

The fish is an oily fish, so if you like canned tuna, sardines, mackerel, you’ll be right at home with bluefish. Otherwise, stick to cod or sole.

girl holding platter with cooked bluefish

My goddaughter Piper LOVES bluefish!

For this preparation of bluefish, we’ve baked it in foil with lemon, butter, herbs, and a little white wine. The lemon is particularly important to cut the fattiness of the fish.

Bluefish is also excellent grilled or smoked.

Do you like bluefish? How do you prepare it?

Baked Bluefish Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4

You can also add a layer of thinly sliced fennel to the fish.

Ingredients

  • One bluefish fillet (1/2 pound to 1 pound)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 5 very thin slices of fresh lemon
  • 3 pats of butter (about a teaspoon each)
  • Several sprigs of fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, fennel fronds, and/or parsley (or a teaspoon of dried herbs such as Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence)
  • 3 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Place fillet skin-side down in foil-lined-roasting pan: Cut a piece of foil large enough to enclose the bluefish fillet. (You can double layer the foil if you are working with thin foil). Place the foil in a roasting pan. Rinse the bluefish fillet and place it in the center of the foil, skin side down.

bluefish fillet bluefish fillet on foil

3 Add salt, pepper, lemon slices, butter, herbs: Sprinkle the fillet with salt and pepper. Lay a layer of thin lemon slices on top of the fillet. Arrange pats of butter along the top of the fillet. Lay several sprigs of fresh herbs on top of the butter and lemon slices. bluefish ready to be cooked

4 Add white wine and lemon juice, seal foil packet: Create a boat shape with the foil around the fish so that liquid does not leak out. Pour white wine over the fish, and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Crimp the edges of the foil together so they are relatively sealed.

5 Bake: Place in the 350°F oven (or you can put the foil packet on the grill) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or so, until the fish is cooked through and opaque.

6 Serve: Carefully lift the fillet from the foil and place on a serving dish. Pour the cooking liquid over the fish to serve.

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Smoked Bluefish Paté from Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

baked bluefish

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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58 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. alan

    NYS Health Department says not to eat Bluefish( B-Fish) over 20″. This fish is now one of the most highly contaminated fish in the sea.
    B-Fish taste like what they are eating. If they are eating Menhaden (aka Bunker )you will taste that.
    Do not reserve the fluids from cooking. The majority of the contaminants are in the fat which collects in the sauce. This is true of most fish that are fatty. The fat in most fish is between the skin and the meat.
    B-Fish is delicious but it should be eaten in moderation. Baby B-Fish known as Snappers are also good eating, less contamination, but can’t really be filleted.
    A general rule for fish and I paraphrase a source I don’t remember, ” The higher the fish in the predatory scale the higher the containment level”. Think Tuna here.
    B-Fish is a great part of Sharks diet.
    Smokes B-Fish if done properly is really good.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Katie

    So good! Fish was caught this morning so super fresh and delicious!!! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Melissa

    Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing. The blue we caught tasted great with this recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Lauren

    I went deep sea fishing last night and caught 9 large blues. I was truly overwhelmed about how to cook all that fish knowing they don’t keep well. This recipe was perfect! Easy and delicious! I soaked the fish in milk over night to cut the oily ness I also added capers to the recipe. They came out perfectly light and fresh.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Mar

    I’m going to try this bc I don’t have a grill but my kids are out fishing for blues. My dad used to grill bluefish with grainy mustard and tarragon. Easy and you!

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