Who can resist the allure of juicy and flaky baked buffalo fish with its wonderfully crispy skin? This mouthwatering dish combines flavorful cajun-seasoned fish, stuffed with parsley, and topped with a tantalizing lemon garlic butter sauce. Not only does it make for an impressive main dish, but it’s also surprisingly simple to prepare!
Cooking an entire fish may seem daunting, but fear not! This recipe will guide you through the process of baking a whole fish to perfection. With a gutted and scaled fish at your disposal, all that’s left to do is liberally coat it in your favorite seasonings and allow it to bake to perfection. It’s that easy!
Before we dive in, let’s clear up any confusion. Despite its name, buffalo fish is not a seafood spin on buffalo chicken wings. Rather, it’s a freshwater fish with a distinct character of its own.
In this delightful recipe, the buffalo fish takes center stage, stuffed with fresh parsley and lemon slices. The fish is then bathed in a buttery cajun garlic sauce, resulting in an impressive and flavorful baked fish dinner that everyone will relish!
To create this culinary masterpiece, gather the following ingredients:
- Whole buffalo fish: Opt for fresh fish to savor its unparalleled flavor and delightful texture. If fresh fish is hard to come by, make sure to completely thaw the fish before use.
- Cajun seasoning: This bold and smoky spice blend adds a unique kick to the butter sauce.
- Lemon: Introduce a zesty citrus flavor to the fish by drizzling it with lemon juice and adorning it with lemon slices.
- Garlic cloves: Mince and incorporate into the sauce for a bolder garlic taste that perfectly complements the fish and lemon.
- A fresh sprig of thyme: Cooked atop the fish, this aromatic herb adds a touch of freshness.
- Butter: Melted and combined with Cajun spices, garlic, and lemon juice to create a delectable cajun lemon garlic sauce and achieve crispy skin.
- Fresh parsley: Stuff inside the fish cavity to infuse the dish with its delightful flavor.
How to Make Baked Buffalo Fish
To ensure the best results, it’s advisable to use fresh fish for this recipe. If you’re working with frozen buffalo fish, be sure to thaw it completely. You can either leave the fish in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours out on the counter.
Once your fish is ready, remove the scales and clean it thoroughly. Rinse it under cold running water and place it on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oven preheats, prepare your seasoning mix. Melt the butter and mix it with Cajun spices, minced garlic, and the juice from half of the lemon. Then, make slits in the fish and generously coat it with the butter mixture. Don’t forget to add some inside the fish as well. Finally, stuff the fish cavity with fresh parsley and place any remaining lemon slices on top, along with the optional thyme springs.
Bake the fish for approximately 30 minutes or more, depending on its size. Ensure the fish reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit for a fully cooked result.
What Kind of Fish is It?
Buffalo fish, also known as bigmouth buffalo, is a native freshwater species found in the rivers and streams of North America. Its greyish/brownish skin distinguishes it from other fish, often leading to confusion with common carp.
While buffalo fish may not be as widely recognized as other aquatic creatures, its sweet and delicate flavor speaks for itself. This whitefish exhibits a delightful taste that perfectly balances delicacy and flavor without any overpowering “fishy” notes.
Thanks to its slightly firm texture, buffalo fish lends itself well to various cooking methods, including grilling, baking, and stir-frying.
If buffalo fish proves elusive, fret not! Catfish serves as an excellent substitute in this recipe.
Alternatively, if you don’t have cajun seasoning on hand, feel free to experiment with creole seasoning or Old Bay seasoning. You can also create your own blend using cayenne pepper, smoked or regular paprika, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
When it comes to fresh herbs, let your personal preferences guide you. Sprigs of rosemary, oregano, cilantro, or tarragon can provide a delightful twist to this baked buffalo fish recipe.
For those craving a taste of the classic buffalo style, fear not! Simply cover the fish fillets with buffalo sauce and bake until tender.
To elevate your dining experience, consider roasting baby gold potatoes, fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, or onions alongside the fish. The resulting medley of flavors will create a sumptuous and easy side dish.
Looking to complement your baked buffalo fish? Here are some excellent side dishes to consider:
- Zucchinis and cherry tomatoes: Add these delightful veggies to the baking tray for a lovely accompaniment. If you have a hungry crowd, serve the fish with white or brown rice or potatoes. Whether roasted, mashed, or scalloped, potatoes are always a crowd-pleaser. Alternatively, boiled potatoes with dill and butter are a personal favorite!
- Fresh spring salad: Create a vibrant salad using romaine lettuce or arugula, kale, cherry tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. Drizzle with olive oil and a hint of balsamic vinegar for a refreshing and healthy dinner.
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus: These vegetables pair beautifully with white fish, offering both nutrition and flavor. They’re perfect for late dinners and provide a healthy twist to your mealtime.
To savor the delights of baked buffalo fish at a later time, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. When ready to enjoy, reheat in the microwave for approximately one minute. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the fish to dry out. Alternatively, you can reheat the buffalo fish in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around five minutes.
For a quick and effortless reheating option, use your oven’s broiler. No preheating required—simply pop the fish in and broil for a couple of minutes. Keep a close eye on it, though, as it can burn quickly.
More Seafood Recipes
If seafood satiates your cravings, explore these enticing recipes:
- Ninja Foodi cod recipe
- Argentinian shrimp recipe
- Air fryer haddock
- Air fryer stuffed salmon
- Cuttlefish recipe
- Whole catfish recipe
- Air fryer frozen cod
- Ninja Foodi frozen salmon
- Baked shrimp oreganata
- John Dory recipe
We hope you enjoy this baked buffalo fish recipe as much as we do! If you find it delightful, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below with any questions or suggestions.