How to Poach Fish in Olive Oil

January  6, 2014

Today: Merrill teaches us how to poach fish in olive oil.

For more about olive oil, visit the Filippo Berio Facebook page for a chance to share your olive oil tips and win a week of cooking classes in Lucca, Italy!

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What if we told you that you could slide some fish into a 275°F oven, forget about it for around a half hour, daydream or call a friend or do some laundry, and come back to a perfectly-cooked dinner? Or cook a slab of fish perfectly, just in time for a dinner party, without laboring over the stove -- with a few extra minutes of wiggle room, to boot?

Welcome to the world of olive oil-poached fish.

Watch Merril demonstrate how to make our new favorite party dish -- or weeknight dinner, for that matter. Contrary to what you might think, it won't be oily -- and it can stand up to any sauce you throw at it.

This post was brought to you by Filippo Berio Olive Oil.



See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • Caite McKinney
    Caite McKinney
  • J. P. Higgins
    J. P. Higgins
  • Fiamma Swainston
    Fiamma Swainston
  • Anna
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


Merrill S. January 8, 2014
You can use thinner fillets and a smaller dish, which will require a lot less oil -- I cooked 2 pounds of tilapia the other day in about 2 cups of oil; this fed the family for several days, and we used some of the oil to dress the fish, as well as the vegetables we ate with it.
Caite M. January 8, 2014
What types of fish besides striped bass would this method be good for?
Merrill S. January 8, 2014
Pretty much any type of fish will benefit from this method -- shrimp is particularly delicious cooked this way.
J. P. January 7, 2014
I tried this last night with Coho Salmon, garlic and thyme. It came out perfect. It did use a lot of oil though.
Fiamma S. January 7, 2014
can the oil be reused...?
Anna January 6, 2014
Sounds wonderful, wonder how it would be with a mix of chicken broth and EVO. I have done salmon w/EVO in foil pouch on the grill, yum.
friedathecat January 6, 2014
Please tell us the oven temperature!!! 350? 400? Or????
Brette W. January 6, 2014
Just updated the post -- it's 275!
Matthijs L. January 6, 2014
Looks great! What temperature should the oven be?
Brette W. January 6, 2014
Just updated the post -- it's 275!
Matthijs L. January 6, 2014
Thanks! Am definitely going to try this.
Kara January 6, 2014
Yeah, I had the same thoughts as @tortellini. Maybe use a narrower, deeper pan so you use less of the oil? But even so, I'm probably not going to eat enough fish in a 4 day period to make it worthwhile to use that much oil. Even the least expensive (decent) oil will run $15 or more for enough to make this work.
tortellini January 6, 2014
This sounds good but what do you do with all that expensive olive oil after the fish has been poached in it? Does it get tossed? that seem like such a waste... any sugestions for uses?
Brette W. January 6, 2014
Some people do toss it, but you could dress your fish with it OR if you wanted to poach some more fish within 4 days, you could chill the oil in the fridge and re-use it.
Allison (. January 6, 2014
Exactly what I was thinking; it seems like a lovely dinner, but it would be way too expensive considering how much olive oil it requires!
Dianne S. January 6, 2014
What temperature is your oven?
Brette W. January 6, 2014
Just updated the post -- it's 275!