Fish in Yogurt Marinade

Fish in Yogurt Marinade
Fish in Yogurt Marinade. Mia Mueller Schoel / Katie Workman /
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4

Marinating fish in yogurt gives it a little bit of tang, and really prevents it from drying out, a common worry when making fish at home.  And great flavor comes from the seasonings, lemon, garlic, oregano, cumin, and a bit of allspice.  Marinate the fish for up to an hour in the fridge if you have the time, but even if you don’t you’ll still get a great tasting dish.  The whole thing comes together in 15 minutes if that’s all the time you have.  I used perch, but you can use any tender, flaky, mild white fish (see Note).

Serve this with any greens, or a Greek Salad.


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1½ pounds perch filets (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 scallions, trimmed and sliced, both white and green parts

Steps to Make It

  1. In a shallow baking dish, combine the lemon zest and juice with the yogurt, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Place the fish filets in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for an hour, if possible.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat and add the oil, and the scallions.  Sauté the scallions for 1 minute, then shove them to one side and add the fish fillets.  Season the fish with salt and pepper, then transfer the skillet to the oven.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the fish flakes easily.  Serve the fish with the scallion oil spooned over.  

Note: Perch is a mild fish, with a gentle sweetness, that is especially tender and flaky when it is small.  It is often fairly inexpensive.  You could use any mild white fish here, such as cod, flounder or halibut.

Fish and Kids: Making fish for a family that includes kids can be very, very tricky.   And the truth is, you don’t ever know for sure what’s going to appeal – the landscape changes.  But just keep trying, and change things up.  This particular fish was inhaled by my younger son.  People are always looking for tips on getting their kids to try new foods.  Seriously, one of the best tips I know?  Put it out when they are HUNGRY.  My kids have tried and like more new things out of sheer hunger than anything smart I could have thought of.

What the Kids Can Do: The kids can measure the herbs and spices, and if they are old enough slice the scallions.  You might think about a kid-safe knife, like this one, if your kid is into being in the kitchen with you.  A knife of one’s own does wonders in terms of inspiring little sous chefs.