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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    • joy says

      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 says

        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?

          • Rob Nelson says

            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 says

            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.

  1. says

    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 says

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

  2. Chickie says

    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.

  3. says

    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 !

  4. Parul says

    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?

  5. Jessica says

    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.

  6. says

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

  7. Rachel says

    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

  8. Kate says

    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!

  9. J Leslie Sr says

    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!

  10. James says

    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!

  11. says

    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.

  12. Pilar says

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

  13. Jennifer says

    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!!!

  14. Jen says

    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 says

      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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