roasted whole white fish

Whole Baked Fish

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Lean how to make an Incredibly flavorful Whole Baked fish, that’s amazingly juicy, flaky and tender on the inside, and deliciously crispy and seasoned on the outside. It’s also ridiculously easy to roast a whole fish in the oven!

Baked whole fish

Whole Baked Fish

Roasting whole fish can seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple to do! If you buy the whole fish already gutted and scaled, all that’s left for you to do is adding delicious flavors and baking to perfection.

roasted whole white fish

What Kind of Fish is Best for Roasting?

I would recommend any white-fleshed fish, such as mahi mahi, branzino, red snapper, sea bass or sea bream. Since moving to the UAE, we’ve been eating lots of fish. Sea Bream is what I used in this recipe, which a very popular kind of fish along with see bass in this region.

The Easiest Roasted Whole Fish Ingredients:

For this simple roasted whole white fish, you’ll need:

  • Whole White Fish. 2 large fishes, mine were around 2 lbs/fish. Make sure you buy your whole fish already scaled and cleaned (meaning no guts).
  • Olive Oil.  For brushing the fish.
  • Lemon: I used about one whole lemon — half for slicing and using while baking, and half for squeezing on the outside for serving. You will need another half a lemon if you like scrub the fish with lemon while cleaning it too.
  • Fresh Herbs:  You don’t have to add any herbs, but if you’d like you can add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme for stuffing the inside of the fish.
  • Salt and Pepper: Fresh ground black pepper and salt. You will need a bunch of salt!

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR WHOLE FISH FOR BAKING:

Roasting whole fish is easy. I buy mine already cleaned and scaled.

  • Line a baking sheet with an aluminum foil or baking sheet and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • I give my fish and extra rinse at home and scrub it with Lemon halves. Then gently pat dry with a paper towel and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Score your whole by cutting about 3-4 slits on the scale of the fish lightly, so it can soak up the marinade.
  • Brush the fish with olive oil on both sides.
  • Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper on the outside and inside.
  • Stuff the opening of the fish with lemon slices and your choice or herb. If you use herbs, make sure its stuffed and covered deep inside the cavity to avoid it from getting burned.

And that’s it! Your whole Sea Bream is ready to go.

roasted sea bream

HOW TO COOK A WHOLE FISH IN THE OVEN:

  • Preheat oven to 450 F (yes, it’s better to bake on high heat) for about 30 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature of fish needs to be 145 F to be fully cooked, in case you decide to measure.
  • Transfer to a serving plate.
  • Squeeze with extra fresh lemon juice.
  • Serve immediately, work around the bones and enjoy!
Baked whole fish

HOW TO CHOOSE FRESH WHOLE FISH:

  • Eyes: The eyes should be bright, shiny and full.
  • Scales and skin: The fresher the fish, the brighter and more metallic the skin. If you decide to touch, the skin should be nice and firm, rather than soft and squishy.
  • Smell: Good fish will smell clean and fresh, perhaps a little briny, like the ocean.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH WHOLE BAKED FISH:

Fattoush Salad

Tabbouleh Salad

Tahini Dressing

Homemade Hummus

Tearing into a whole baked fish at the dinner table is so fun! There’s something primal about it, I really like.

If you’ve tried this Sea Bream- Whole Baked Fish recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it! 

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Baked whole fish

Whole Baked Fish

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

 Lean how to make an Incredibly flavorful Whole Baked fish, that's amazingly juicy, flaky and tender on the inside, and deliciously crispy and seasoned on the outside. It’s also ridiculously easy to roast a whole fish in the oven!

Ingredients

  • 2 Whole White fish- cleaned and scaled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved- extra for scrubbing (optional)
  • Few fresh thyme or rosemary springs
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or baking sheet and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Give your whole white fish an extra rinse at home then scrub with a lemon halve. Gently pat dry with a paper towel, and transfer to the foil-lined baking sheet. 
  3. Use a sharp knife to lightly score your red snapper by cutting about 3-4 slits on the scale of the fish. 
  4. Brush the fish with olive oil on both sides. 
  5. Generously season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper on the outside and inside. 
  6. Stuff the opening of the fish with lemon slices and your choice or herb. If you use herbs, make sure they're stuffed and covered deep inside the cavity to avoid burning.  
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature of fish needs to be 145 F to be fully cooked.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate. 
  9. Squeeze with extra fresh lemon juice. 
  10. Serve immediately, work around the bones and enjoy!  

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 19g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

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Rose

Hello! Welcome! I’m Rose, a thirty something wife, busy mom, and self-taught cook, baker, recipe developer, editor, and photographer behind this little web space. Cooking and baking are a huge passion of mine! I could live in my kitchen. I also like to make food look pretty, because when it looks good, doesn’t it just taste better? Here you’ll find quick and easy family friendly recipes. Happy Cooking!

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