I have been asked many times to publish this recipe so I finally decided to add it here. When we first opened the store we had handouts of this recipe which really helped people learning how to cook a whole fish. It turns out, it is not as scary once you try to make this. I will never forget one of our lovely customers came in to the store one day all excited and said “I feel like a pro now, I can cook a whole fish!” (She was very hesitant to try it when she first came in:))
So here it is, a lot easier than you think and this time I have preparation pictures for you.
- Fresh Whole Branzini from MediterraFISH:) (They will scale and clean the fish for you and score the top if you tell them you are doing this recipe)
- 1-1.25 lbs size for each person
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Salt & Coarse Black Pepper or Medley
- Aluminum Foil
- Parchment Paper
Preheat the oven to 400 F. If the fish is larger make it 425F.
Cover your tray/cookie sheet/whatever you want to cook the fish in with aluminum foil, this way in the end you don’t have to clean the dish.
Cut a loose piece of foil, longer than the fish and place a parchment paper on top just enough to place the branzini on. See below:
Place the branzini on top and fold the sides of the foil as you are making a little boat around the fish.
If you are making two at once, you can place them in the same tray as seen below:
Sprinkle oregano, drizzle olive oil and squeeze half a lemon juice over the fish.
The oven should be ready at 400F by the time you prepared all this. Place the fish in the middle rack and set the clock to 20 minutes. It usually is cooked in 20 minutes but each fish size and oven settings are different so if you need to add additional 10 minutes that’s ok.
In order to determine doneness, you can check after the first 20 minutes by lifting the fish from the open side with a spatula. the bones should not be still pink if cooked. You can also check the bottom side to see if it started flaking.
Step 5 (optional)
You can also broil for about a minute to get the top crispy and grilled like.
After done, you can serve each fish as it is with the foil wrap, it helps to separate your fish from your salad or whichever side dish you chose to serve with.