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You’ve probably seen the whole fishies behind the case at the store and felt intimidated, but don’t be scared. It’s so easy to roast a whole fish, and it looks super fancy and impressive. Perfect for a dinner party, and you can usually get them for a reasonable price.

How to Make a Whole Fish

Here is what you need:

  • One 1-2lb gutted whole fish: any kind will do. I’ve often seen Branzino. We used freshwater trout. Look for fish with shiny, bright eyes and healthy scales.
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Fresh herbs that appeal to you. I use this mini herb chopper and love it!
  • Vegetables such as zucchini, onion, shallot, carrot, mushrooms
  • Kerrygold butter
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


Here’s what you do

Preheat oven to 325. Rinse fish and pat dry. Try not to let its eyeballs staring at you freak you out.

  • Slice your lemon lengthwise into several slices.
  • Salt and pepper inside the cavity, then add a few lemon slices and a couple pats of butter.
  • Chop whatever herbs you want to use and place those inside the cavity. We used fresh dill, parsley, and cilantro. You don’t want the flavor profile to be too complicated, so keep it simple and clean without too many competing flavors. You could also do a french profile with fresh thyme and oregano.
  • Set the fish on a large piece of parchment paper or foil.

Prepare veggies. We used zucchini, carrot, onion, shallot here.

  • Slice veggies into inch chunks so they don’t get mushy roasting for 30 minutes. Carrots can be sliced a little more thinly.
  • Scatter veggies around fish and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Pour a little white wine or bone broth and drizzle a little olive oil over veggies.
  • Seal the packet and put it the oven for around 30 minutes.
  • Start checking it after 20 minutes. It’s done when it’s cooked and flaky. Don’t overcook it. There’s always the tendency to overcook fish. This recipe is pretty forgiving and stays moist.

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Once it’s done, transfer to platter and arrange veggies around it. Flake out the flesh with a fork and serve with fresh chopped herbs and a squeeze of lemon on top. Delicious!

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