Whole Baked Fish, Moroccan-Style

Red Snapper, seasoned and ready for the oven. Photo by Danielle Frum

 

This recipe makes for a spectacular centerpiece of a Break Fast meal but is equally spectacular whenever fresh Red Snapper can be had. A four-pound fish can feed 4-6 people. Double (or triple it!) for more guests. Once the fish is seasoned, it marinates for at least two hours and takes only 10 minutes per side to cook; thus it can be done at the last minute.  Serve with a selection of room-temperature Moroccan appetizers (such as these by celebrity chef Raffi Cohen), and you have a refreshing and delicious change from the usual bagels 'n kugel menu.  This recipe is adapted from the original by Moira Hodgson in the New York Times.

Serves 4-6.

1 bunch fresh coriander
cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon crushed chili pepper
 Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 4-pound whole fish such as striped bass, sea bass, red snapper, cleaned and gutted, head and tail intact

Reserving a few sprigs of coriander for garnishing, combine all the ingredients except the fish in an electric blender and mix until smooth. With a sharp knife, make three slashes in the skin on both sides. Smear the mixture in the fish cavity and over the skin. Leave to marinate at room temperature for about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, broil the fish for about 10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish, or until cooked. Arrange on a serving platter, garnish with coriander and lemon slices.

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