Updated: May 18, 2020
When standing at the seafood counter at the grocery store looking at all of the fish options, people tend to intentionally skip over those scary whole fishes just staring at you from behind the glass. I get it, the thought of presenting a large Whole Roasted Fish with their head and tail still attached to the dinner table can seem intimidating yet somehow visually thrilling. However, there is no reason to steer clear from these little guys as these fish are friends and also make for great food!
In addition, they are easier to make than you think and you will build up those brownie points because this an easy way to impress the hell out of your guests or significant other.
The one thing, I love about this dish is that it brings people together in its purest and fanciest form. Imagine you and your family or friends gathered around what is the main attraction scooping out its flaky, juicy and fatty flesh from its skeleton. You almost don't feel human consuming it this way and it takes people out of their comfort zones. I love it!
So, now that you built up the courage and got over that hump of actually purchasing one of these, the intimidation still won't leave. You are standing in your kitchen contemplating how to season it, cook it and bring out its true colors and flavors. But, there is no need to worry! My Spicy, Lemon, Dill Whole Roasted Fish Recipe will help you through this.
The key to making this extra juicy and flavorful are: herbs, spices, oils and natural juices from items such as tomatoes and lemons. So, I picked a few of my favorite things to bring the fish to life.
1 (2 Pound) Whole Striped Bass
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Minced Garlic
1 Lemon, cut in wheels
2 Small to Medium Sized Tomatoes, cut in wedges
1/2 of an Yellow Onion, cut in wheels and then cut the wheels in half
1-2 TSP Red Pepper Flakes (Depending on how spicy you like it)
Himalayan Salt OR Sea Salt
Bunches of Fresh Dill
Bunches of Fresh Thyme
Bunches of Fresh Cilantro (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 425 Degrees, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
Prepare your roasted onions and tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into wedges, season with salt and set aside. Slice your onion in half wheels, season with salt and set aside.
Using the Himalayan Salt, rub the entire fish from head to tail and top and bottom on both sides with salt.
Using a sharp knife, cut two slits along the top/back of the fish.
While you let the fish soak in all of the saltiness through its skin, in a separate bowl mix together the olive oil and red pepper flakes and drizzle or baste all of the insides of the fish on the top and the bottom.
Begin stuffing the insides of the fish as well as the two slits you cut at the top with the lemon wheels, minced garlic, fresh dill sprigs, fresh thyme sprigs and optional cilantro leaves.
Transfer Fish to prepared baking sheet. Spread out your cut onions and tomatoes around the fish on the same baking sheet.
Baking in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool before transferring to serving dish.
PRETTY PLATE PRESENTATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Place the fish in the middle of the platter. Scatter the roasted onions and tomatoes throughout the same platter around the fish.
Garnish with some parsley flakes or extra lemon slices if you would like.
** NOTE: I love serving this dish with extra lemon slices to squeeze over the fish. I highly recommend it. It makes for an extra juicy and flavorful touch while consuming **