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Old 05-07-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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Question How do I cook a whole fish properly?

Hi everyone!! I have a bit of a delema, I have just bought a large fish from the supermarket, and I mean LARGE, it is just under 3 kilo's, it is too big to fit into my oven whole to bake, so to come to my questions, 1. Can I chop his head off to bake him so he might fit into my oven, and if I can is it possible to give the head to my cats to eat, I dont want them choking on any bones, and if I can give the head to my cats, do I need to cook the head, or can they eat it raw?. 2. This is my biggest worry, HOW DO I COOK SUCH A BIG FISH,
What would you do with it, what do you put into the belly for flavour, ( I was thinking of capsicums,carrots,celery,onions,garlic,a bit of chilli, and of coarse lemon slices, and a bit of butter,) do you think this is Ok? what else would you add, also for such a large fish, How long do you think I should cook it for, Im am so not good at the timing of these dishes, would 1 hour be too long, or should it be half an hour, Im not sure. It is a fish called an "Estaurey" fish, I dont think it is a type of fish, but more like where it was caught, so the actual name is unfamiluar to me, It looks like a great beautiful fish, I have always bought fish fillets not a whole fish to cook, I have tried "Estaurey" fillets and I just use the marinade that I mentioned to put in the belly of the fish, it turns out Ok, maybe a bit of soy sauce or oyster sauce, do you think?? Please any help would be greatly apprieated.
Thanks heaps for any help or suggestions.
Spiritwolf from Aussie Land.

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Old 05-08-2008, 01:20 PM   #2
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Cut the head and tail off if you wish Spiritwolf and I would boil the head and strip the meat off and give that to the cats if you wish, think of the smell if you don't. As far as cooking it it the oven and what to use with it, I don't know, I always fillet our fish. Perhaps use a wooden skewer to test it occasionally.

"Estuary fish" means where it is caught, so it could be a Barramundi, Threadfin King Salmon, Blue Salmon, Grunter etc. If it's a Trevally it will have a strong flavour and a strong blood line so I wouldn't recommend baking it.

Sorry I can't be of more help, if you can't recall what sort of fish it is may I ask the price per kilo then I would have some idea what it is.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:37 PM   #3
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lop off the head and tail, as attie said, spiritwolf.

you can keep a fish from smelling by cutting off it's nose, ya know...

here's a recipe that i'd posted a long time ago, for baked stuffed fish. it was for smaller fish, but you can adapt it to a bigger one. btw, add more fresh thyme than i'd originally posted.

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Old 05-08-2008, 01:57 PM   #4
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Here's another goodie for a whole baked fish. I recall one time doing this one with a salmon so big I had to cut off its head and tail to get it into the oven... but it tasted great!

The rule of thumb for cooking fish is give it 10 minutes of heat for every inch of thickness. That always works for me.

Baked Fish, Greek Style
This attractive dish has long list of ingredients. Don’t let that put you off. Once you¹ve got the veggies chopped (you can do that way ahead!) it’s smooth sailing.
6 servings
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped carrot
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes, cut up
¾ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 4- to 5-pound whole fish, dressed, head & tail left on
sprigs of fresh dill or rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
vegetable oil
finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, cook onion, celery, green pepper, carrot and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil for 5 minutes. Add undrained tomatoes, wine, dill, parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, drizzle inside of fish with lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put a sprig of fresh dill or rosemary inside the fish cavity.

3. Place fish in a baking pan just large enough to hold the fish comfortably. Brush the fish well with oil. Pour sauce over fish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and test for doneness. Fish should flake (but NOT easily) when tested with a fork. Serve sauce over fish. Sprinkle fresh parsley over all.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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Hi Spirit Wolf, I make whole fish (large and small) a couple of different ways.

You can first chop off the head and tail. I cannot comment on how to feed it to the cat since I don't have pets.

If you chop off the head and tail it should fit in a roasting pan. Here are my two recipes:

Fish with Parsley, Lemon and Garlic

You need two large bunches of fresh leaf parsley - Wash and reserve
You will also need atleast 10 cloves of garlic - Cut it roughly
Juice of two whole lemons (Squeeze the juice out and don't throw the rind out, keep them on the side)
1 green chili (if you like spicy food, you can use dry crushed red pepper as well)
salt and black pepper to taste
3 tbsp of olive oil

Veggies of your choice - I prefer baby potatoes, carrots and zucchini

Combine parsley, garlic, lemon juice, chil and olive oil into a food processor. Pulse it until it's chopped but not a puree. Should have texture. If you have patience you can do this by hand.

Place the fish in an oven proof pan. Add the herb mixture and ensure the fish is covered in it. Next add the root veggies of your choice and the reserved lemon rind. Cover and bake at 300 F for 40-50 minutes until the fish is tender.

It's very aromatic and simple to make.

Tandoori Fish

Make a Tandoori Marinade for the Fish using 2 cups of plain yogurt, 2 tbsp of freshly roasted and ground cumin and corrainder seeds, 2 tsps of freshly grated ginger, juice of 2 limes. 2 tsps of chili powder, 2 tsp of paprika, cup of chopped cilantro and handful of chopped mint and 1 tbsp of oil.

Mix the yogurt with the dry spices, ginger, lime and herbs and pour the mixture on the fish. Cook uncovered until it's tendera (50 minutes or so).

Serve with more lime wedges and some grilled onions (you can grill them in a saute pan or a stove top grill).
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