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Whole Roasted Fish

Whole Roasted Fish

It took me by surprise to learn how easy whole fish is to cook.  Between the bones and figuring out how to cook it, I was a little timid.  But since then, I have come to love it.  You can pop it in the oven and set a timer, and throw your veggies in the pan too, making it the perfect one pan meal.

My advice to you is, do not be afraid of whole fish!  It is extremely easy to prepare and so flavorful. If you have never cooked one before, this is a good time to learn.

I sometimes find seasoning difficult (especially because I rarely eat the skin) so I like to pair with a lemon butter or a compound butter.


Serves 2 to 3

1 - 2 lb  white flesh fish like red hind, snapper or coney
1 lemon
olive oil
1 – 2 TBSP The Everything Spice by UMAMI
1 – 2 TBSP The Hot Mexican
1 stick salted butter


Take butter out of fridge and let sit until soft.  Mix with 2 TBSP of The Hot Mexican blend (start with 1 TBSP and taste).  Wrap about 3 TBSP of the butter mixture in saran wrap and return to fridge. 

Cut lemon into slices and score skin of fish on both sides about an inch apart.  For dramatic effect, you can score in both directions to create a diamond.  Also, cut the side fins off with kitchen scissors.

Drizzle fish with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with The Everything Spice by UMAMI.  Smear remaining butter mixture inside and outside of fish, being sure to rub into the slits.  Also, put slices of lemon in the fish. 

Note: you may add any aromatics that you like.  Cook fish at 400° for approximately 30 minutes.  The rule of thumb is 10 minutes per inch of thickness but I usually estimate 15-20 minutes per pound.  You can flake it to see if it is done or cook to a temperature of 145°.  I find the flaking more reliable. 

Once you de-bone the fish, serve with the butter that was put aside and a squeeze of lemon.


Deboning a Whole Fish

I find the easiest way to get the main bone out of a fish is to lift the tail and slide a knife under the bone to separate it to open up the fish.  Then remove the main bone.

Here is the link to a more in depth video that explains how to debone a fish.

If your fish is small enough (i.e. serves one), you can serve it whole and eat around the bones.  I tried this recently, (I saw it suggested somewhere) thinking that it would problematic but I actually enjoyed it.


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