Whole Grilled Fish with Crispy Garlic and Red Chiles
Pete Evans grills whole fish in banana leaves with soy, sherry and ginger.
Walnut-Stuffed Fish with Barberries (Mahi-e Fivij)
Traditionally, this deliciously sweet and sour stuffed fish is cooked with its scales, which prevents it from sticking to the pan. For scaled fish like the one here, Persian cook Mahin Gilanpour Motamed suggests brushing the pan with oil and lining it with parchment paper, so the fish comes out of the pan easily and intact.
Grilled Whole Red Snapper
For one whole cleaned and scaled 3-pound red snapper.
Roasted Branzino with Caper Butter
“It’s almost impossible to end up with dry, overcooked fish when cooking it whole,” says chef Steve Corry. “The bones protect against extreme heat, plus they add flavor and moisture.” Here, Corry pan-roasts whole branzino, Mediterranean sea bass, that’s stuffed simply with lemon and rosemary. He makes the easy compound butter, which melts on the fish to become a sauce, with wild Tunisian mountain capers, although any caper will work.
Ginger-and-Lemon-Steamed Striped Bass with Fennel Salad
Laurent Gras uses ginger, fennel and lemon to flavor his lean, protein-rich striped bass as it steams; then he serves it over a lemony shaved-fennel salad, an excellent source of vitamin C. “Instead of using oil or butter, I like to steam fish with aromatic ingredients,” Gras says. “You get as much flavor this way—usually more.”
Escarole-Stuffed Seared Trout
This one-skillet dish has more flavor than its short ingredient list suggests, especially if made with fresh-caught fish.
Marcia Kiesel uses pickled cocktail onions to make a fast, tart, crunchy sauce for this succulent salt-baked trout.
Stuffed Whole Wild Salmon
Whole fish are usually less expensive than fillets, and the presentation is more impressive. Chef Tim Love generally opts for wild salmon, which has a more delicate flavor than farm-raised. Cooking an eight-pound fish might sound intimidating, he acknowledges, but it’s surprisingly fast and simple—though filleting the salmon can require some finesse.
Whole Fish Roasted with Potatoes and Thyme
Cooking whole fish is insanely easy, delicious and cheaper than fillets.
Snapper in Chile-Lime Sauce
Cooking whole fish doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than this. Here, chef Zarela Martinez quickly fries red snapper, then cooks it in a vivid tomatillo salsa.
Sea Bass all'Acqua Pazza
Acqua pazza means “crazy water”—water flavored with wine and herbs.
Salt-Crusted Snapper with Eggplant-Raisin Puree
Top Chef Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio says fish in a salt crust is sexy.
Salt-Crusted Tilapia with Lemongrass
Thai cooks love tilapia for its versatility. “You can steam it, fry it or grill it,” Andy Ricker says about this mild white fish. Here, he stuffs whole fish with lemongrass, encases it in a salt crust, and cooks it over a charcoal fire. Be sure the heat stays relatively low, or the crust will burn before the fish is ready to emerge, moist and fragrant.
Whole Roasted Sea Bass with Potatoes and Olives
Grilled Branzino with Skordalia and Ladolemono
Chef Zoi Antonitsas tops flaky grilled fish with a superlemony Greek ladolemono sauce and serves it with the tangy, garlicky potato puree called skordalia.