Working with Whole Fish

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Have you thought about bringing home a whole fish to cook, but haven’t tried it yet? We’d like to help you make it happen! We carry a variety of whole fish that are actually really simple to work with. Here are some tips that will help you pull it off in style;

Pick your Fish

First, decide what kind of whole fish you’re looking to cook (but keep your options open, our Seafood Experts are happy to help you pick the best fish in the case when you arrive). You might want to narrow it down to a round fish (like a snapper) or a flat fish, (like a Dover sole). And for your first time, we suggest you keep it small – maybe a meal for one or two until you’re feeling comfortable.  Rainbow Trout is one of the easiest fish to work with – take home a couple to practice with.

Pick your Cooking Method

The easiest way to cook a whole fish is to roast it – either in your oven or on your grill. If you’re thinking about cooking it on the grill, this Men’s Journal technique keeps it simple and rustic.

If you want to cook indoors, just rinse your fish and season it all over with salt and pepper. Place it in an oven-proof dish and stuff the cavity with garlic cloves, fresh herbs (we like parsley, thyme and bay leaves) and some lemon slices. Feel free to squeeze some lemon juice over the fish, then add about 1/2 a cup of dry white wine into the cooking dish. Cover with foil, and the slide the dish into a 450 oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Let the fish stand for a few minutes before removing the foil. Then dig in! Spoon the cooking juices over some rice, add a green salad and you have a perfect meal for 2 (or 4, depending on how big your fish is).

Or try this exciting variation from the folks at Food & Wine.

Steaming and deep frying are two other ways to tackle a whole fish, one a little harder than the other… Here are two recipes from Chef Ming Tsai that will guide you through either one.  Stop by and grab a whole fish today (and let us know how it turns out in the comments section below)!

And if you’re in the Santa Barbara area, join us on Sunday, August 24th at 1:00 pm inside the Santa Barbara Public Market for a whole class devoted to working with whole fish!  Click here to learn more. 

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