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Whole Fish


Ilaine
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You could also bake in salt for a moist and delicious dish. Pretty easy and interesting for your guests.

  • Put some herbs, citrus slices, and olive oil inside the fish.
  • Depending on the size of the fish mix about 3 cups of coarse kosher salt with 3 egg whites. The mixture should not be too liquid, but stick together a bit.
  • Place some of the mixture on the bottom of a baking sheet pan about an inch thick that the fish will be put on.
  • Lay the fish on top of the salt and cover with the rest of the salt at least 1" thick. (Mix more up if you need it).
  • Bake for about 30 minutes at 400F. I think the internal temp. of the fish should be 125F.
  • Crack salt with a wooden spoon and pull the salt chunks away and serve.

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Is this from WF Fair Lakes?
Yes. Nobody else will eat fish but me, so I really didn't need a three pound fish, but it was so pretty.

This is probably the one time that everything in the store will be fresh, fresh, fresh. I am not a big fan of Whole Foods' seafood otherwise.

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You could also bake in salt for a moist and delicious dish. Pretty easy and interesting for your guests.
I tried the salt thing a couple of years ago and it just did not work for me. The salt stuck to the fish skin and when I tried to pull it away, the skin broke and salt got into the flesh. Way too much salt.
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I tried the salt thing a couple of years ago and it just did not work for me. The salt stuck to the fish skin and when I tried to pull it away, the skin broke and salt got into the flesh. Way too much salt.
I forget where I recently read this, but apparently the trick is to rub olive oil on the skin of the fish before applying the salt crust.
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I forget where I recently read this, but apparently the trick is to rub olive oil on the skin of the fish before applying the salt crust.

Yup, and breaking the salt up into smaller chunks and being a bit careful when lifting it off is helpful.

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OK, here's what we did. Oven "steamed" rockfish en papillote slathered with a marinade made from 1 inch fresh peeled ginger, two peeled garlic cloves, two scallions, 1 T toasted sesame oil, 1 T soy sauce, 1 T sake, buzzed to a pulp in the little baby Cuisinart. After gutting and scaling fish, stuff with lemon slices, slash flesh of fish, and rub with marinade. Wrap tightly in foil. Bake on rack over roasting pan in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Served with sauteed rapini and jasmine rice, and a sauce made from ginger, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil, simmered and reduced. Remove lemon grass before serving. For starters, miso soup with shiitake mushrooms.

To drink, sake. Banzai!

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I bought a whole rockfish today just for the hell of it. How should I cook it? On hand are fresh bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, lemons, Italian parsley, bacon, onions, shallots, and a varied assortment of dried herbs and spices. Fats on hand are butter, olive oil, and duck fat.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. :lol:

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I bought a whole rockfish today just for the hell of it. How should I cook it? On hand are fresh bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, lemons, Italian parsley, bacon, onions, shallots, and a varied assortment of dried herbs and spices. Fats on hand are butter, olive oil, and duck fat.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. :lol:

I did a whole rockfish Saturday night. I thinly sliced garlic, shallot and a lemon. Then I made three vertical slits on each side of the fish and stuffed them with the slices and a sprig of dill (I am sure the rosemary would be fine). I threw a couple of smashed garlic cloves, more dill and some more sliced lemon inside the cavity and then drizzled the fish with olive oil and LIBERALLY coated with sea salt and pepper and then roasted it. (I had a 4 pound fish and roasted for about 35-40 minutes at 400 I think) It was a bit messy serving as it didn't separate from the skeleton in nice neat little pieces but it tasted fantastic. I think this was because I was flirting with the undercooked line and down inside the meat was still holding together in parts instead of flaking off. Despite being a pain to dismember neatly I love the texture and moistness of allllmost undercooked fish.

I garnished with a drizzle of oil, a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of dill, and a parsley sprig to serve. (I was going to blend the dill parsley lemon and oil to make a sauce to artfully distribute but laziness won out because I didn't feel like messying up the blender). I served it with mashed yukons with a pinch of chive and dill and sauteed spinach with a bit of shallot.

I love whole fish (you actually get to eat the cheeks!!) but it is such a pain to serve a multi-serving one. The side that was down in the roasting pan was hard to get at and didn't look as pretty as the crispy top and the pieces I tried to cut off from the top just kind of crumbled. Do any chefs have any tips for this? I ran the tip of my knife along the spine and put a spatula in the slit and basically tried to kind of scoop a single piece off. There has to be a correct way to do this.

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You can buy 4 bags of rock salt and mix salt with some water to help the salt stick. In a big baking pan, the size of the fish, put a layer of the rock salt/water mix. Place the fish over the salt and once again cover the whole fish with more salt, leaving only the eye uncovered and covering the tail in foil. Put in the oven at 425 for 25/30 minutes or until eye turns white. Remove the salt, which should come off easily thanks to the water (helps the salt stick). Portion the fish, drizzle your best olive oil and sherry vinegar (or lemon, like vinegar better) and voila. If you're serving don't share the cheeks, thats a chefs privilege

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(Aha! There was an existing thread. I searched for "whole fish" and got nothing.)

Blake, I did pretty much what you did. Slices of lemon and garlic, parsley springs and bay leaves. The bay was much too strong and gave the fish a medicinal taste. Thyme would have been a better choice.

I love whole fish (you actually get to eat the cheeks!!) but it is such a pain to serve a multi-serving one.
You know we're all about the cheeks around here. :lol:

It was messy and a pain in the neck to pick all the little bones out of the kid's portions. We'll be sticking to filets for them in the near future.

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It was messy and a pain in the neck to pick all the little bones out of the kid's portions. We'll be sticking to filets for them in the near future.
:o

Then, how will you secure good fortune on Sunday for the Year of the Fire Boar?

P.S. One recipe I really like stuffs the fish with shrimp, mussels, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, etc., moistened with lemon juice and olive oil. Bake, wrapped in foil. Marcella Hazan.

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:o

Then, how will you secure good fortune on Sunday for the Year of the Fire Boar?

P.S. One recipe I really like stuffs the fish with shrimp, mussels, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, etc., moistened with lemon juice and olive oil. Bake, wrapped in foil. Marcella Hazan.

Speaking of the year of the Fire Boar, there's nothing easier than making a crispy whole fish with black bean chili sauce. Sadly, we do ours off a copyrighted recipe that we can't post, but you score the fish, dredge it in cornstarch deep fry in a wok, and then make a sauce in another pan with fremented black bean, chili paste, fish or chicken stockand the usual garlic/ginger/scallion stuff. I swear, it's easier than calling carryout. And, if you use a decent size fish, the bones are relatively easy to spot.

Happy to PM the recipe to anyone who's interested.

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I like to serve "Bronzino" (Euro. Sea Bass) Whole. I usually buy them 1-1.25# each. Scale and gut including the gills and fins. Season liberally inside and out w/S&P. Score the fish down to the bone on both sides. I stuff the cavity w/thyme, sliced shallots and sometimes slices of lemon. Liberally oil outside (I use olive oil or blended oil) then place on a hot grill to mark and crisp the skin. Then I finish in a 400 deg. oven for about 4-6mins. Remove and drizzle w/ lemon mosto oil. The flesh pulls away from the bone perfectly. It's mighty good eatin. :o

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Is it me, or is Branzino the hip fish of the aughts -- the new Chilean Seabass? Never heard of it until a couple of years ago, now everybody's cooking it. Did Mario do this?

You are correct Anna my spelling error! As to Waitmans question, I don't know about Mario but I have been cooking Branzino for at least 12 years.

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Anyone tried to wrap a whole fish in banana leaves? I've tried this with snapper. Shredded up some ginger and lemongrass and put that on top of the fish. Sprinkled a little soya on it and then put in the oven. It turned out pretty good, and not that different a flavour from doing it "en papillote". But I think it has the advantage that you could use this method on a grill (though I haven't tried that specifically). I'm guessing the parchment would fare too well on a grill :o

Maybe next time I'll try it with some coconut milk mixed with thai curry paste and a few kaffir lime leaves...that sounds yummy!

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Anyone tried to wrap a whole fish in banana leaves? I've tried this with snapper. Shredded up some ginger and lemongrass and put that on top of the fish. Sprinkled a little soya on it and then put in the oven. It turned out pretty good, and not that different a flavour from doing it "en papillote". But I think it has the advantage that you could use this method on a grill (though I haven't tried that specifically). I'm guessing the parchment would fare too well on a grill :lol:

Maybe next time I'll try it with some coconut milk mixed with thai curry paste and a few kaffir lime leaves...that sounds yummy!

OK, canadian hippie with your spelling :o Yes, I've done this- it works on the same pinciple as en papillote and it works on the grill, though setting aside my addiction to planking I'd actually use a plank for this- you are going to get just as much heat but you will hold off some of the direct flames that could potentially cause for uneven heating. So I'd use an alder or a cedar plank soaked for 12-24 hrs with the banana leaf wrapped fish on top of it.
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Bar en portefeuille farci à la mousseline de crevettes.

“Wallet style” bass stuffed with shrimp mousseline.

4810783012_42c6be565e.jpg

Whole ungutted black sea bass and striped bass opened through the back and stuffed with a mousseline of shrimp, Salvadoran crema, lemon zest, thyme and porcini dust. Delicately grilled over gentle heat on sliced lemons and limes.

4810215605_f0fba05764.jpg

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