Baked Fish with Paprika-Lemon Butter and Sesame Asparagus

Baked Fish with Paprika-Lemon Butter

Fish is one of my favorite foods but I’ve been doing a poor job eating any as of late (aka I haven’t cooked fish in ages). This week I decided to make fish two ways. One way (poached in white wine) was awful (I think the wine had gone bad) but the other (baked with paprika-lemon butter) was delish. Fortunately I had purchased two catfish fillets weighing a total 1.3 pounds so Rob and I had plenty for dinner after we tossed the poached fish.

For the baked catfish, I first found a tasty-sounding recipe on and was rather intrigued because the comments were quite mixed: some said it was an easy, guaranteed-to-please dish, other argued it was either flavorless or too full of flavor, the paprika in particular. We (spoiler) really enjoyed it. Rob loved that it was so quick to make so we ate at 8:30 instead of 9:30 (which happens more often than we’d like when I decide to cook a big meal).

The recipe was, as commenters wrote, very easy. First, I mixed the room-temperature butter, paprika, parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a bowl to make the marinade rub. Then it was as simple as rubbing the butter mixture onto the fish, sprinkling it with salt and pepper and topped it with a few slices of lemon. Next, it was into the oven at 400F for 15 minutes (the recipe called for 10 but it wasn’t enough for my oven) and voila dinner was served.

Ingredients for the paprika-lemon butter, premixing

Paprika-lemon butter ready for spreading on the fish

Paprika-lemon butter, lemon slices, and a fillet of catfish

I’m a big fan of one-dish meals but whipped up some asparagus to go along with the fish. I used a recipe from The Joy of Cooking but altered it a bit, as usual (recipe posted at the bottom of the post). All in all, it was a great meal and the leftovers—which I mixed into a bowl of fish, asparagus, and bulgar—made for a wonderful lunch the next day.

Stir-frying the asparagus and poaching the fish (which unfortunately did not turn out well due to the bad wine used as part of the poaching liquid)

Tada! Fish two ways (though only one edible) with asparagus

Baked Fish with Paprika-Lemon Butter recipe from (originally published in Bon Appetit).

Sesame Asparagus


2 pounds asparagus, rinsed and patted dry

1 tablespoon olive oil

Dash of sesame oil

2 cloves of garlic, slivered

1/4 cup chicken broth

Sesame seeds


Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus (if the asparagus is not patted dry, the water still on the vegetables will cause the oil to splatter and make a mess). Stir fry for 3 minutes then add the chicken broth, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!


14 Responses to “Baked Fish with Paprika-Lemon Butter and Sesame Asparagus”

  1. 1 kristina 02/04/2011 at 3:40 pm

    Paprika and butter, two of my favorite things. I’m going to try this week!

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