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Aug 2, 2013 11:21 AM

my baked fish sauces always curdle

Does anyone have a recipe for either a mayo, sour cream, or Greek yogurt sauce, preferably with mustard, that is spread over fish and baked....and doesn't curdle? My family likes well done fish so baking for 20 plus minutes at 375 may be the culprit. Still, I thought I'd ask. Thanks!

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  1. have you tried lower heat?

    are you using reduced-fat sour cram or low-fat yogurt? those will be less stable.

    9 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I tried 350 for one of the recipes, baked the fish for 30 minutes. Sour cream was low fat and Greek yogurt was no fat. Guess I should go for full fat dairy. I'll try that next time. I saw someone make a mayo mustard sauce on youtube, but there was no time given and fish was to be baked at 360 - I think it was salmon. Dish looked great at the end of the video, but I have no idea how long the fish was cooked.

      1. re: addicted2cake

        30 minutes is about 3 times longer than i would cook fish. :)

        does your family insist it be incinerated?

        try very low, like 250, and see what happens. after about 20 minutes, stick a metal skewer or very thin knife into the fish. if the knife feel warm to your lip, the fish is cooked. if not, keep checking every 5 minutes.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          No, not incinerated, but I have to err on the overcooked side. Any time I serve fish that seems the least bit underdone, it ends up back in the oven for several more minutes. It's a pain, but the family prefers fish on the drier, more well done side.

        2. re: addicted2cake

          Low fat and no fat was probably the issue

          I make salmon with garlic and mayonnaise. It's good.

          1. re: youareabunny

            i made wild salmon tonight. made a paste of brown sugar, dried ginger, chili flakes, salt, some soy sauce and soft butter. covered both sides and pan-seared. wow was that good and nothing is curdle-able. :)

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Sounds really good. Fish stays intact? The few times I've tried to pan sear fish, it always came apart. Not the most attractive of presentations, I must say. I'm not too good at flipping food in a pan. :(

              1. re: addicted2cake

                start with cold fish, direct from the fridge. dry it well, then season. even in a non-stick pan you need a film of oil before you put anything on the heat. once the oil is shimmering, it's hot enough to start cooking.

                try using 2 spatulas to flip til you get the hang of it. :)

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Thanks for the help! I'll try pan searing again, with your suggestions, and see how I do. I will definitely need practice. :)

                  1. re: addicted2cake

                    if you're still practicing, err on the side of lower heat til you feel more confident. :)

                    good luck!

      2. Maybe try a Veracruz sauce? Nothing in it curdles.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Veggo

          This would certainly work. I had to google Veracruz sauce as I'd never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!

        2. This is fool proof and delicious:

          I use regular mayo - Heilmans or Dukes.

          6 Replies
          1. re: meatn3

            How can salmon possibly need to be baked at such high heat for so long?

            1. re: magiesmom

              I bake salmon filets twice the size of that recipe, with dill, mayo, and coarse grated romano, for about 25 minutes at 325, just until the grated cheese melts.

              1. re: magiesmom

                Ooops - not at home to check my notes when I linked. I cook at 350 for 20 min. for large thick filets.

                Good catch! (pun intended...)


              2. Mustard contains vinegar. Vinegar and dairy products are very tricky to get right ie not curdling.

                1. Turn the oven down to 350. Use full fat dairy or mayo, it does make a difference.

                  My favorite: Mayo combined with parmesan cheese and parsley. It's crazy thick, but becomes a wonderful sauce / crust for fish. In fact, it is probably what I will do with tonight's cod fillets.

                  (although pesto sounds good too)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: tzurriz

                    Similar to my baked salmon. Cooking fish at a high temperature is not a good idea.

                    1. re: tzurriz

                      I'm off to the market right now. I'll pick up some full fat Hellman's for when I make my fish dinner this week. Recipe sounds delicious.

                      1. re: addicted2cake

                        I have had this recipe bookmarked for a while since my mother loves it but I've never tried it but in reference to your original question I think it's probably the low fat mayo - low fat products have a lot of other additives which might not do well in the heat especially when not combined with many other things.