- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, inner bulb only, minced (optional)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 4 whole striped bass (1 1/2 pounds each), pan-dressed
- Olive oil spray
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- 12 thin lemon slices, cut in half, plus lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 500°. In a skillet, toast the coriander, fennel and cumin seeds over high heat, stirring, until the spices are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Scrape the spices into a spice grinder, add the salt and pepper and grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the lemongrass and garlic.
- Using a sharp knife, make three 1/2-inch-deep diagonal slits in both sides of each fish. Spray olive oil spray on both sides of the fish. Rub the cavities with half of the spice mixture and tuck a rosemary sprig in each one. Rub the remaining spices onto the skin and into the slits. Tuck a lemon slice into each slit and let the fish marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the fish to a large, rimmed nonstick baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil on both sides. Bake the fish for 20 minutes, or until the flesh flakes with a fork. Serve 1 fish per person, with lemon wedges.
A smooth Chardonnay from Napa Valley without much oak will round out the slightly sour and pungent herbs and spices that flavor the fish.