Skip to Content

Butterfish Recipe

If you’ve ever been to an Asian restaurant and ordered food from your meal, it was likely made with butterfish.

Butterfish recipes have been around since at least the 19th century.

They are easy to prepare and delicious. Here we will show you how to make a variety of butterfish recipes so everyone can enjoy this tasty fish!

What Are The Ingredients In A Butterfish Recipe?

There are many different types of seafood dishes out there.

Butterfish is one such dish that has been enjoyed by people all over the world. In fact, the word “butterfish” comes from its similarity to butter.

This makes sense because the meat of the fish resembles flaky pieces of butter when cooked.

The fish itself contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation as well as other health benefits.

The fish also provides vitamin B12, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and protein.

That means you won’t feel like you need more than a small portion of this fish to get healthy nutrients.

Here are some common ingredients used in butterfish recipes:

  • Fish fillets or steaks – You want to use fresh fish fillets whenever possible. Frozen fish may not taste as good but they are still safe to eat if properly prepared.
  • Salt – Salt helps bring out the flavor of the fish while retaining moisture. Use less salt if the fish is already salty enough. If you don’t add salt, you’ll end up tasting too much of it instead of having any saltiness.
  • Soy sauce – Soy sauce adds flavor to the cooking process as well as the finished product. Since soy sauce is salty, adding just a little bit brings out the flavors of the fish.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce gives the fish a slightly tangy flavor. Adding just a touch will give the dish a nice kick without overpowering the rest of the spices.
  • Garlic powder/chili flakes – Garlic powder and chili flakes provide a strong flavor. A dash of each will enhance the overall flavor of the fish.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil adds richness to the dish. Cooking with olive oil keeps the fish moist and flavorful. Using extra virgin olive oil will give the dish a deeper flavor.
  • Black pepper – Black pepper enhances the flavor of almost every dish. As long as you don’t go overboard, black pepper is great on most foods.
  • Onion – Onion acts as a natural preservative and helps keep the fish fresh. Add onions during the last five minutes of cooking to avoid burning them.
  • Cayenne pepper – Cayenne pepper is a hot spice that gives the dish a spicy kick. Just a pinch will work fine here.
  • Pepper (any kind)
  • Lemon juice – Lemon juice brightens the dish and cuts through the rich flavors of the fish. Lemon juice is optional but recommended.
  • Tomato paste – Tomato paste adds color and texture to the dish. If you can find a brand that does not contain sugar, you should try using tomato paste next time.
  • Chicken broth – Chicken stock takes the place of water in some butterfish recipes. Stock is added to create a thicker gravy after the fish is cooked. Broths usually have lower sodium levels compared to regular water.
  • Rice wine vinegar – Rice wine vinegar adds acidity to the dish. You only need a tablespoon per serving.

How Do You Make A Butterfish Recipe?

There are many different types of butterfish recipes out there.

Some include more vegetables than others, but they all consist of very little preparation time and almost no cooking.

  • Creamy Butterfish Recipe (15 Minutes)
  • Marinated Butterfish (20 Minutes)
  • Miso Butterfish (30 Minutes)
  • Tuna Poke Bowls (10-12 Minutes)
  • Spicy Tuna Rollups (5 Minutes)
  • Pork Chops & Fish Sauteed In A Coconut Sauce (25 Minutes)
  • Shrimp Fried Rice (35 Minutes)
  • Fish Soup With Mango Salsa (35 Minutes)
  • Sushi Rolls (15 Minutes)
  • Tacos (30 Seconds)
  • Baked Salmon (40 Minutes)
  • Roast Duck Breast (45 Minutes)
  • Pan Seared Trout (50 Minutes)
  • Lemon Poached Halibut (1 Hour 15 Minutes + 1 Hour Resting Time)
  • Ginger Scallop Crusted Mahi Mahi (4 Hours 45 Minutes)
  • Salmon Kebabs (3 Hours 20 Minutes)
  • Breaded Flounder Tacos (15 Minutes)
  • Grilled Shrimp Salad (20 Minutes)
  • Honey Garlic Smoked Mackerel (45 Minutes)
  • Fried Catfish Fillets (2 Hours 10 Minutes)
  • Chicken Tikka Masala (6 Hours 40 Minutes)
  • Beef Short Ribs (7 Hours 35 Minutes)
  • Roasted Pork Loin (8 Hours 50 Minutes)
  • Chili Lime Tilapia (9 Hours 25 Minutes)
  • Chicken Breasts With Peanut Sauce (18 Hours 55 Minutes)

What Is The Best Butterfish Recipe?

There are many different types of butterfishes.

Some people only eat them raw while others prefer cooking them.

If you like eating butterfish cooked then there are several good ways to cook it.

  • Baked Butterfish Recipe – A quick and easy way to bake any kind of butterfish.
  • Pan-Fried Butterfish Recipe – Make pan-fried butterfish if you want something more flavorful than plain old baked or poached butterfish.
  • Broiled Butterfish Recipe – Broiling is another great way to cook butterfish.
  • Grilled Butterfish Recipe – Grilling is also a popular method of preparing this fish.
  • Deep Fried Butterfish Recipe – Deep frying is one of the most common methods used to cook butterfish.
  • Sautéed Butterfish Recipes – Sautéing is another excellent way to cook butterfish.

Raw Butterfish Recipe

  • Make a Simple Raw Butterfish Recipe

How Do You Cook Butterfish?

The first step to cooking butterfish is to remove all bones and skin.

The next step is to cut the meat into bite-sized pieces before seasoning it with salt and pepper.

You may also add garlic or chili flakes if desired.

Next, heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Once the oil has heated up, place the seasoned butterfish into the pan and let it cook until it turns golden brown on both sides.

Remove it from the pan when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63.3 Celsius).

You may serve the butterfish immediately after removing it from the hot skillet or keep it warm by placing it back into the pan while waiting for your guests.

Butterfish should not stay in the pan too long as it loses its flavor quickly.

It is important to note that butterfish should only be cooked once due to its delicate nature.

If you don’t want to use the same skillet again, wipe off any excess grease using paper towels then wash the skillet thoroughly.

What Does Butterfish Taste Like?

The main thing that people notice when they eat butterfish is its firm texture.

It has a mild flavor which makes it perfect for grilling or baking.

The flesh is rich in nutrients and protein, making it one of the most nutritious fish available on Earth.

It also happens to be very low in calories.

For example, a 3-ounce serving contains only 90 calories.

That means if you were eating three servings per day, you would burn more than 300 extra calories each week without even trying.

Other than that, butterfish is known for being high in omega-3 fatty acids.

These fats help promote healthy skin and hair as well as good vision.

Omega-3s lower bad cholesterol while increasing good “good” cholesterol levels.

They also prevent heart disease by reducing inflammation in blood vessels.

Where Can I Find A Butterfish Recipe?

There are many different types of butterfish available today, but they all fall into one of two categories.

The first group includes those which are caught in coastal waters and eaten fresh or dried.

These include the silver (or silver) butterfish, also known as Pacific butterfish, and the Japanese butterfish.

Both are popular in Asia and other parts of the world where they are found.

The second category consists of butterfish preserved by drying, curing, salting, smoking, or pickling.

Examples of these include the American butterfish, Australian butterfish, Chinese butterfish, Hawaiian butterfish, and Cuban/Caribbean butterfish.

All of these varieties are typically served fried, steamed, grilled, or deep-fried.

American Butterfish Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C)
  • Wash fillets then pat dry with paper towels
  • Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper
  • Place fillets on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until fish flakes easily when poked with fork.

Australian Butterfish Recipe

  • Rinse fillets under cold running water
  • Pat them dry with paper towel
  • Rub fillets with olive oil
  • Mix together 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes, and 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Pour mixture over fillets evenly coating both sides
  • Refrigerate overnight before frying

Chinese Butterfish Recipe

  • Clean fillets thoroughly removing any blood spots or dark flesh
  • Dredge fillets in cornstarch
  • Heat wok or large skillet over high heat until hot
  • Add about ¼ cup vegetable oil to pan
  • When sizzling add fillets and sear for 2-4 minutes per side or until golden brown
  • Remove fillets from pan and transfer to serving platter
  • Serve immediately with sauce of choice such as sweet & sour, hoisin, plum, oyster, teriyaki, etc.

Hawaiian Butterfish Recipe

  • Soak bread slices in milk until soaked through
  • Cut fillets crosswise into 4 pieces
  • In shallow bowl combine remaining ingredients except bread
  • Pat fillets dry then dip each piece in egg wash then coat in seasoned flour
  • Fry fillets in hot oil until crispy, turning once
  • Transfer to plate covered with foil to keep warm while making sauce
  • To serve place bread in bottom of serving dish and top with fillets
  • Top each fillet with equal amounts of mayonnaise and ketchup
  • Sprinkle with additional seasonings to taste

Cuban/Caribbean Butterfish

  • Rinse fillets well then pat dry with paper towels
  • Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and onion powder in small bowl
  • Whisk until blended
  • Brush fillets with half of marinade then place in resealable plastic bag
  • Marinate in refrigerator overnight
  • Next day drain excess liquid from bag and reserve marinade
  • Coat grill rack with cooking spray
  • Grill fillets 5 minutes per side or until done to desired doneness
  • Arrange fillets on serving platter and drizzle reserved marinade over tops
  • Serve immediately with rice and beans

How Do I Know If My Butterfish Recipe Is Cooked?

When cooking any kind of meat or seafood, there is always some level of uncertainty as to whether the dish is done or not.

The same goes here.

There isn’t one specific way to cook butterfish, but there are general guidelines you should follow when preparing it.

  • First off, check that the oil has reached its smoking point (or whatever temperature you want to use). If you don’t see smoke coming out of the pan, lower the heat until you see the smoke come up through the surface of the water.
  • Next, take note of the color of the flesh. When the skin starts turning opaque, it indicates that the meat inside is fully cooked. However, the flesh can still look translucent and raw depending on what part of your country you live in. For example, many countries in South America like Brazil and Peru eat their butterfish while they are still pink. In China, however, it is more common to cut them into pieces before eating them.
  • Finally, taste the butterfish. You may need to remove the bones first. If the butterfish tastes good to you, you’re ready to serve it. If not, give it another minute or two to finish cooking.

How to Cook Butterfish

The following recipe for butterfish is very similar to a traditional Thai style preparation.

We recommend using fresh tuna instead of canned tuna because it will add flavor to the dish.


1/2 pound butterfish fillet

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Lemon juice to taste


Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

First wash the fish and pat dry with paper towels.

Then season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.

Place the seasoned fish onto a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray and bake for 15-20 minuets or until the fish turns opaque.

While the fish is in the oven, mix together all ingredients except lemon juice and pour over the top of the fish.

Bake again for 10-15 minuets or until the fish flakes easily.

Remove from the oven and squeeze lemon juice on top.

Serve hot.

This butterfish recipe works well for serving at parties too.

Just set everything out beforehand so people can help themselves.

You won’t believe how quickly these go down once they hit the table!

What Can I Substitute For Butterfish In A Recipe?

You may be wondering what else you could use instead of butterfish in your favorite recipe.

Let’s look at some of the most popular substitutions.

  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel (fresh or canned)
  • Sardines

For more information on seafood substitution check out our article here.

If you don’t want to go through all these steps, however, there is another way to find out what ingredients to replace butterfish with.

Find Butterfish Recipes Online

The best thing about online resources is they allow us to search thousands of different recipes without having to read any instructions.

To get started, simply enter “butterfish” into one of the many sites available like Epicurious, Chowhound, The Kitchn, or Allrecipes.

Once you see a list of results, just scroll down until you find a recipe that looks good.

You can also click on the number next to each ingredient to view its corresponding page.

Use Google Search

Another great resource for finding substitutes for butterfish is using Google search.

Just enter “substitute for butterfish” followed by whatever dish you would like to learn about.

When searching through the results, you can filter them by category, such as “food,” “desserts,” etc., which will help narrow down your options even further.

How Do I Make A Healthier Butterfish Recipe?

The first thing to know about healthy butterfish recipes is that they don’t need much cooking time.

The best way to cook them is by baking or broiling.

If you choose to bake them, use parchment paper on top to prevent sticking and grease splatter.

You should also keep in mind that butterfish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA).

These fats help reduce inflammation.

However, if you want to avoid these unhealthy fats, try substituting one tablespoon of olive oil instead of butterfish.

You may still get the same flavor but without all those extra calories.

We’ll go through several different types of butterfish recipes below.

We won’t include any specific measurements because there are always variables when using ingredients like fresh herbs, spices, etc., which change depending on what region or country you live in.

So feel free to adjust according to taste preferences.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making A Butterfish Recipe?

One mistake people often make when cooking butterfish is overcooking it.

This results in a dry and tough texture.

You want to cook the fish slightly on one side until just opaque before flipping it over to finish cooking.

To avoid overcooking, use a thermometer as well as a fork or knife to check if the fish is done.

The other thing to keep in mind is that although butterfish can be cooked quickly, don’t forget about its delicate flavor.

If you cook the fish too long, the flavors become muted and lose their freshness.

Another mistake is not using enough salt.

Salt helps bring out the natural flavor of the fish.

And remember, any leftover bones should go into stock.

You can also save them to add back to soup later.

Easy Butterfish Recipe #1 – Baked Fish Sticks

These fish sticks are great if you need a quick dinner solution.

The trick here is to bake the fish sticks instead of frying them.

By baking them, they get crispy while keeping all of the moisture inside.

  • 4 ounces butterfish fillet (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley flakes, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • All purpose flour, to coat the fish sticks
  • Vegetable oil, to deep fry

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except vegetable oil.

Roll each piece of fish into little balls.

Coat these fish with flour.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.

When hot, drop 4 or 5 fish balls into the pan per stick size.

Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on both sides.

Easy Butterfish Recipe #2 – Grilled Butterfish

Grilling butterfish is another way to prepare it.

A lot of restaurants offer grilled butterfish because it tastes similar to fried but without the grease.

This method works best if you purchase whole butterfish rather than fillets.

Soak the fish in cold water for several hours prior to grilling to remove excess blood.

  • 4 ounces butterfish filets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Olive oil, to brush
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Clean the fish then season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Brush olive oil onto each side of the fish.

Grill the fish for 3 more minutes per side.

Easy Butterfish Recipe #3 – Fried Fish Fillets

Fried fish fillets are a traditional dish found throughout Asia.

Some believe that eating fried fish gives you energy and vitality.

  • 4 ounces butterfish fillet (cut into bite sized chunks)
  • Flour, to dust the fish
  • Peanut oil, to sauté
  • Curry powder, to sprinkle on top of the fish
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish

Heat two inches of peanut oil in a wok over medium heat.

Dust the fish with flour.

Sauté the fish for 3 minutes on one side.

Flip them over and continue sautéing the second side for 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat, sprinkle curry powder on top, and garnish with sesame seeds.

Easy Butterfish Recipe #4 – Stir Fry Butterfish

Stir fry butterfish goes well with vegetables and rice.

Since there isn’t much prep work involved, you can throw together a quick stir fry right away.

  • 4 ounces butterfish filets (or skinless, boneless fish)
  • Peanut oil, to sauté
  • Soy sauce, to marinate
  • Ginger, to grate
  • Onion, sliced
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Carrots, cubed
  • Red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Basil leaves, minced
  • Thyme, to sprigs
  • Chili garlic paste, to taste
  • Brown sugar, to drizzle on top
  • Chopped peanuts, to garnish

In a large skillet, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.

Once heated, toss in the onions, carrots, red bell peppers, basil, thyme, and chili garlic paste.

Cook for 10 minutes until tender.

Add soy sauce and mix well.

Increase the heat to medium high.

Toss in the fish and stir fry for 6 minutes.

Turn off heat.

Season with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.

Butterfish Recipe

They are easy to prepare and delicious. Here we will show you how to make a variety of butterfish recipes so everyone can enjoy this tasty fish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Butterfish Recipe
Calories: 901kcal


  • The Oven


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


  • Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees C). Grease a medium baking dish sparingly.
  • Cream the butter, chopped parsley, and chives in a basin.
  • Place the fish in the baking pan that has been prepared. Add salt and pepper, then drizzle with lemon juice. About 2 teaspoons of the butter mixture should be used to top the fish. Bake for five minutes, or until the butter is melted. Turn the filets over, coat them with the remaining butter mixture, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  • When serving, garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.



Calories: 901kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 138g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 400mg | Sodium: 539mg | Potassium: 2304mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1195IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Follow me