You don’t have to be a fish lover to enjoy eating ocean perch. It has a mild flavor that isn’t fishy and a firm texture that holds up to a variety of cooking techniques. Baking the fish gives you lots of flexibility in terms of building the flavors in the dish, while maximizing fish's heart-healthy benefits. By broiling it during the last few minutes of cooking time, you'll end up with a lovely golden color on top and a deliciously tender and flavorful flaky interior.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, prepare your baking dish by greasing it with butter, cooking oil or cooking spray.
Arrange any aromatics you’re using on the bottom of your dish. Some examples include sliced onions, lemons and/or minced garlic. Ocean perch can also be cooked with tarragon, sesame seeds, soy sauce, chives, basil, cilantro and white wine.
Place the fish on top of the aromatics and season them with salt and black pepper. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven.
Bake the fish for about 20 to 25 minutes before taking the foil off and turning the oven on to broil.
Rearrange the oven racks so the fish will be about 3 inches from the heating element. Broil the ocean perch for roughly 5 minutes until the top is brown and the flesh is lightly flaky when you test it with a fork.
You can add a sauce to your fish to spice things up either before you bake it or before you finish it under the broiler. For example, sauté onions, celery, garlic and green pepper in cooking oil or butter until they are tender. Add some crushed tomatoes or tomato puree along with wine, carrots, cloves, a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for 30 to 40 minutes and top the fish with the sauce before you bake it. Alternatively, mix low-fat yogurt with dry mustard and paprika or any other seasonings you like. Top the ocean perch with the mixture before placing it under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Buy fresh ocean perch if your heart is set on eating the real deal. Frozen fillets labeled as ocean perch are often fillets of sea perch, red perch, rosefish or redfish, all of which have a very similar flavor and firm-white flesh as ocean perch.