Basa Fillets Baked in Garlic and Butter


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Butter. I love it and there’s no denying it. When I was really, really young, vegetables (snow peas, carrots, green beans and corn) cooked in butter and served with a sprinkle of salt blew my mind. These days I enjoy adding butter to meat and fish. It makes everything much better, just like bacon. I think they’re siblings.

Here, instead of frying basa fish, I baked it in butter:

Baked Basa Fish Fillet

Oh, and it was so good with the coconut rice!

Baked Basa Fillets in Garlic and ButterDownload the PDF recipe


  • 2 fillet slabs of basa fish (mine was 1.4 lb in total), or any white fish of your preference
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 a lemon, cut in 1/2
  • a handful of cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. In a baking dish, mix the butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the fish fillets into the mixture, and then turn them so both sides are coated. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then take out of the oven and turn off the heat. Squeeze the lemon, a quarter lemon for each fillet. Sprinkle with cilantro and cover again with aluminum foil. Place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the meat becomes flaky and the thinner edges begin to have some color. You will notice that you might end up with a lot of juice in the pan. That’s fine. You can either toss it, or spoon a little over the fillets to be served.

4. Slice and serve with rice.

To make coconut rice, use this proportion: For every cup of uncooked white rice, use 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned is perfectly fine) and 3/4 cups water.

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  • July 14, 2009 9:45 am

    I have to save this recipe ;) I always have some basa in the freezer, and a can of coconut milk somewhere… sounds yummy!
    .-= Tea´s last blog ..A special wedding touch – colorful ring pillows =-.

    • joy
      July 15, 2009 7:48 pm

      Me, too, I always have basa in the freezer and coconut rice is such a good alternative to plain rice. The problem is trying not to eat too much of it.

      • misty
        February 5, 2012 8:32 am

        Hi Joy, thanx for the lovely recipe !!
        Just wanted to know-
        Do we need to turn the heat on the 2nd time in the oven , or just let it cook as it is in the residual heat?

        • joy
          February 5, 2012 11:24 am

          Just residual heat. It will thoroughly cook the fish, without overcooking.

          • Rob Nelson
            July 20, 2013 4:06 pm

            Many happy consumers have already posted their positive feedback, and, I wanted to chime in with mine. Joy, thanks for posting this recipe. I tried it for this evening’s supper meal for the first time. Wow! I absolutely love it! My teenage son tried not to be exuberant by admitting he liked it: Dad might make it move often (I know he enjoyed the fish because his plate was clean.) Thanks again!

          • joy
            August 29, 2013 11:59 am

            You’re welcome, Rob! I’m glad it turned out well for you. I know how finicky teenagers’ palates can be, so hurray on little successes. Cheers.

  • July 14, 2009 12:11 pm

    I love how simple this dish is! We’re always told to eat more fish right? In fact, my fiance just requested more fish so I think I’ll start with this recipe. I love the idea of coconut rice too!
    .-= Cookie´s last blog ..Lovin Me Some Humbles! =-.

    • joy
      July 15, 2009 7:47 pm

      Thanks! Yes, fish is good for you. Hehe. The coconut rice is also a keeper. It tastes great with everything.

  • July 15, 2009 1:32 am

    Lovely yet so easy but delicious!
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Roasted almond panna cotta with stewed rhubarb & vanilla seeds syrup =-.

    • joy
      July 15, 2009 7:44 pm

      That’s what I try to go for. :) Thanks, Sophie!

  • Ma Janelle
    October 16, 2010 9:33 am

    Just tried it, great recipe! Thanks :)

  • March 7, 2011 5:15 pm

    Amazing. It sounds delicious and your hilarious re:bacon and butter. Maybe I’ll even sprinkle it with bacon…

  • March 18, 2011 12:29 am

    it turned out well…was tasty..thanks.

  • myriam
    May 2, 2011 10:14 pm

    This is a really good recipe!!! Thank you so much!

  • June 5, 2011 11:55 pm


    This recipe was a great hit!

    Thanks so much! It was so great i blogged about it!

    Thanks again!

  • Kelli
    August 25, 2011 2:25 pm

    My children loved this recipe!

    • joy
      September 13, 2011 1:08 am

      Yay, Kelli! I’m so happy to hear that. :)

  • Barb
    October 18, 2011 11:49 pm

    Simply delicious and so easy :) Thank you

  • Chickie
    January 28, 2012 4:39 pm

    Made the Basa it was delicious, my husband luvs Luvs luvs it. I made it with some Jasmine citrus rice and it went perfectly. Next time I’ll make it with the coconut rice.

  • February 20, 2012 12:04 pm

    I tried your recipe and it was delicious, I am doing it again today, but I will try plain rice with carrots and onion! I will give it a go!
    Thanks !

  • Parul
    March 11, 2012 8:25 am

    Wot a super duper dish. Made the mistake however, of not making the accompanying rice. Wil definitely make this again with the rice! Can be steamed too in the same manner instead of baked I think?

  • Randy
    July 19, 2012 3:01 pm

    This was very good.Will do it again for sure.The rice was a topper with steamed broccoli.

  • Jessica
    August 14, 2012 7:13 pm

    Wow! When my 8 yr old comes back for 3 helpings we have a winner! The only thing I didn’t have was fresh lemon so I used lemon balm from the garden. Amazing and this is going to be a keeper.

    • joy
      September 3, 2012 5:18 pm

      Jessica, that is wonderful!

  • Samin
    October 2, 2012 5:03 pm

    Simple and sounds delicious..mine is in the oven as I write. already know it will taste awesome!

  • Samin
    October 2, 2012 5:05 pm

    Just the recipe I have been looking for, sounds delicious!

  • Mark Wood
    November 3, 2012 11:14 am

    Lovely recipe. However I did it with mashed potato and used the residual sauce in the mash

  • November 17, 2012 3:58 am

    Hey,was gonna do some pan fried basa tonight, came across this recipe..sounds delish! Trying it out tonight :)
    check out my blog too!

  • Kyle
    December 10, 2012 5:51 pm

    This is an AWESOME recipe! Just tried it and it is delicious!! =) Thank you!!

  • Rachel
    January 25, 2013 8:38 pm

    This was healthy and delicious. This is definitely an addition to my favorite recipes. I cook it additional 15 minutes never cutting off the oven. Thanks

  • Kate
    January 30, 2013 7:50 am

    Wonderful recipe. Delicious, yet so simple. I added veggies to the dish by roasting some mushrooms with the fish, and added them to a salad that I topped with a yogurt and coconut dressing I made. The whole dish was a success. My husband loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

  • J Leslie Sr
    March 21, 2013 8:41 am

    Next time, try using Key Limes, (Not Regular Limes!) they have an excellent flavor with fish, especially baked, and the broth is fantastic on baked potatoes! Potatoes take 45 min’s to an hour to bake, and you already have your oven turned on, just start a little earlier, scrub your potatoes well, rub some bacon grease on the potatoes, place some foil on rack below the potatoes to catch drippings, and bake! Chop or mash your potato however you like, and allow the cooked fish broth to mix with it!

    P.S. Bake some extra potatoes whole you’re at it, let them cool, save them for tomorrows breakfast, slice the baked potatoes up, bite-size chunks or slices, fry in bacon grease, add chopped or diced onion if desired, and crumbled bacon bits too, and enjoy!

  • James
    March 29, 2013 4:44 pm

    This is wonderful recipe , came across it couple of years ago …have made it regularly in our house hold , goes great with stir fried veggies and jasmine rice…thank you!

  • August 14, 2013 4:51 pm

    I cannot eat fish as my son and I are allergic – but my husband loves it. I searched recipes for a while. This is EXACTLY the same way I cook my fish!!! Everyone loves it – I do it when we have guests, for lunches, so quick and easy.

  • Jen
    August 20, 2013 8:33 pm

    Made this recipe tonight. We all really enjoyed it. Very easy to make.

  • Pilar
    December 1, 2013 5:49 pm

    Great recipe… First time trying this fish and it is delicious… Changed the rice for mashed potatoes and served with baby bok choi …

  • Tim Pickens
    February 5, 2014 6:54 pm

    Delicious, fast and simple. Need I say more!

  • Jennifer
    July 13, 2014 4:13 pm

    This is fabulous! I didn’t have cilantro so I just left if out….but I added some diced tomatoes. I added them after the first 10 mins. I also had some mango so I diced it added that on top when I served it!! It was delicious!!!

    • joy
      August 12, 2014 10:54 pm

      Thanks! Oh, that sounds good! I’ll make a mental note to try a mango salsa with it next time.

  • Jen
    November 9, 2014 8:58 pm

    Looks like this has been around a few years but this was just what we were looking for this evening! Delish! I used lime instead of lemon and added rind to the garlic butter.
    Served with the coconut rice as suggested and a medley of steamed red pepper, red onion, carrot and zuchinni with fresh garlic.
    Was a hit with the kids friends too!

    • joy
      November 20, 2014 2:05 pm

      Thanks for dropping by with a note! Yes, it’s deceivingly easy to make and pleases palates of all ages. I’m so glad your family was able to enjoy it. Cheers.

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