Psari Plaki: Greek-Style Baked Fish

Greek-style Baked Fish - Psari Plaki. Photo © Lynn Livanos Athan
    60 min
Ratings (4)

The term plaki (plah-KEE) in Greek is used to describe a dish that is usually cooked with olive oil, tomatoes and vegetables in the oven. For example, you can have beans “plaki” style (called Gigandes plaki) or, in this case, a baked fish plaki. (Fish in Greek is Psari, pronounced SAH-ree.)

The recipe works well with any firm white fish--cod, tilapia, halibut, haddock or whatever type you may have available. It also comes out best if you use panko breadcrumbs, which are white bread-based flaky breadcrumbs common in Asian cuisine but now widely popular in Western cooking. They have more body than the basic breadcrumbs and will create a crispier outcome. Alternatively, you can make your own breadcrumbs by placing torn-up day-old bread in the food processor and processing until small crumbs form (before it becomes a powder). 

This is an easy dish to assemble and results in a flavorful but light and healthy meal. It is delicious at room temperature or even cold. Serve with some feta cheese and crusty bread on the side.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 lbs. firm white fish fillets (such as cod, halibut, tilapia)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko works well)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onions and the celery until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and parsley to the pan and saute until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the fish fillets in a non-reactive baking pan or ceramic baker. Season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle with oregano on both sides.
  5. Top the fish fillets with the onion/celery/tomato mixture and cover each with two or three thin slices of lemon.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and the wine and pour over the fillets and into the pan.
  7. Top each of the fillets with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and add remaining crumbs to the liquid in the pan.
  8. Bake the fillets uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.