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Old 10-11-2006, 09:08 PM   #1
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ISO Whole fish recipes

I'm looking for new TNT recipes for baking or steaming whole fish such as tilapia or red snapper. Any ideas?

Here are my two old reliable standbys but I'm getting tired of them:

1) Stuff the fish cavity with salt, herbs and crushed garlic and bake at 400F until crispy skin and done.

2) Steam with soy sauce, scallions, ginger, black pepper and cooking wine. Tastes very good, much like Chinese restaurant fare... (or some variation on this with lime and sugar)

Thanks in advance!


'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:29 PM   #2
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The one I make is very close to your #2. I just don't cook that much whole fish. I wonder how, using #2 as a guide, you might turn it more Vietnamese with the addition of cilantro, remove the ginger, and add some fresh lime juice?


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Old 10-12-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
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Elfie, Thanks! I forgot about the cilantro. Yes I put that also along on top of the ginger. It's very good but after a while you know you're in a rut and pretty soon DH will start noticing... He loves whole fish, especially the head (ewwwww!) He swears it's the sweetest part of the fish. I can't bear to watch when he's working it. The poor fish is unrecognizable after he's through with it.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:35 AM   #4
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Hi Chopstix do you like Indian food and also Italian. Here are two that I make with a lot of success.

2 Whole Fish - Scale a tiny bit, wash and pat dry with paper towels. Place it in a shallow baking dish.

Make a marinade:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp red food color
2 tsp red chili powder (more if you like it spicy)
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp of ground cumin (freshly roasted and ground is best)
2 tsp of ground corrainder seeds (freshly roasted and ground is best)
1/2 tsp of freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup of freshly chopped mint
1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro

Pour marinade over the fish. Let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour. Bake in an oven or cook in a shallow pan or grill.

Serve with lime wedges and onion rings. Note: There is not even a drop of oil in this. Yet you will never miss it. Ensure the gravy cooks down well and pour it over the fish before serving.

2 whole fish
1 bunch finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp of olive oil
8 cloves of garlic minced
1 large lemon
lots of freshly grated black pepper
1 tsp of chili flakes
Veggies of your choice (I like to use baby potatoes, baby carrots and cauliflower or broccoli cut into chunks)

In a baking dish, add the fish, herbs, spices, oil and veggies. Squeeze in the lemon and drop the squeezed lemon peel in the baking dish. Mix everything with your hand to incorporate. Cover and bake at 350 for an hour or until the fish is flaky. Serve with a side salad and some crusty bread.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:31 PM   #5
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Wow yakuta thank you! Love Indian and Italian food. I'll try both. They sound very good! :-)
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:17 PM   #6
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Salt Crusted Snapper

1 1.5 whole cleaned and scaled snapper

Season cavity with favorite herbs and spices ( pepper, lemon thyme, parsley, cilantro, onion, lemon slices as examples)

Mix a few pounds of kosher salt with a few eggs to make a thick paste.

Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a baking sheet. Spread a layer of salt mixture on it large enough to lay the fish on. Place fish on salt bed and cover with salt mixture creating a salt tomb. (You can place parment paper on the top of the fish to reduce some of the salt flavor.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 500 degrees. The salt will become a golden brown crust. Let set for 10 minutes and serve by cracking the top crust and filleting the fish. Remove the back bone and plate the other fillet.

The fish will be incredibly moist and mild.
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:20 PM   #7
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Darn, beat me to the slat crusted method. It is my favorite way to do whole fish, or doing it a la popiette.

I love the fish heads, the cheeks are the best!
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TATTRAT
a la popiette.
Do you mean en papillote? If not, what method is that?

I love the cheeks too TATTRAT - a Japanese restaurant near us serves them when they get their whole fish in - it's hard to get 'cause everyone jumps on them!

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Old 10-13-2006, 12:45 PM   #9
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Nearly 30 years ago, I had a surprise birthday party for Buck and served a complete Mexi-style menu. He particularly likes red snapper so I used it as the focal point of the meal. He still talks about the way I prepared it and it really is delicious and beautiful. It does take a little time to prepare, but it's well worth it. There wasn't a bite left on the serving platter. Yum!

(Serves 6)

1 (2½-lb.) red snapper or sea bass,
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. bottled picante sauce
(green chili salsa)
1 sweet green pepper
1 sweet red pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
3 green onions, finely chopped
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup fresh bread crumbs, about
1 slice
½ lb. large shrimp, peeled,
deveined and halved lengthwise
4 tsp. lemon juice
4 tsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro or
Italian parsley
¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. chicken broth

Take center bones out of fish, trying not to tear back of fish, so that you have a pocket the full length of the fish. If using snapper fillets, sew 2 fillets together with kitchen string, leaving the other side open for a pocket. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 fillets. Salt and pepper inside and out, brush with the 3 tablespoons butter inside and out, then rub picante sauce lightly over inside.

Place peppers on broiler pan, about 5 inches from heat. Broil, turning to char skin all over. Enclose peppers in paper bag. Let stand about 15 minutes; skins will slip right off. Halve and seed peppers. Finely chop half of each pepper; cut remaining halves in thin strips.

Melt the 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Sauté green onions and all but 2 tablespoons of the almonds until onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs, the chopped red and green pepper, and half the shrimp. Sauté just until shrimp are pink. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of the lemon and orange juices, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the chicken broth, mixing lightly. Taste; add salt and pepper, if needed.

Spoon stuffing into fish. Place fish in a rectangular baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons almonds, remaining shrimp, the sliced red and green peppers and the remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Note: I place the pepper strips in a “V” shape, alternating red and green, down the length of the fish.

Combine the ¼ cup chicken broth with the remaining 3 teaspoons lemon and 3 teaspoons orange juice in a cup; pour over fish. Cover fish and pan with foil.

Bake in preheated 375º oven for 30 minutes or until fish just flakes when tested with a fork. Remove foil the last 5 minutes of baking so fish will brown. Transfer fish to a bed of shredded lettuce on a warm platter. Deglaze the pan, if you wish, with an additional ¼ cup orange juice and ¼ cup chicken broth. Reduce the deglazing liquid by a third; pour over fish.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
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You're talking about large whole fish, right? One of our very favorites is called "fagri" here (a Google search tells me it's "Pagrus africanus" and the pictures support that) which is a lovely fish about 10 or 12 inches long with very sweet, white flesh and a mild not-too-fishy flavor.

We buy it frozen, whole, and bake it -- wrap it in parchment paper having first generously salted it. Hot oven (220 C or so) for a half hour or more, depending on size (until it tests done anyways).

Then we remove it and clean off all the meat to a fresh platter and we pour over it a sauce made from olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh oregano, and salt -- all shaken up until it's a foamy/creamy light yellow. It's just divine!

I don't happen to like it but the rest of my family like to dunk fresh bread into the sauce as well ...

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