Whole Baked Fish with Hazelnut Stuffing

Author: Canadian Living

A whole fish is included in many Christmas Eve suppers. Here, toasted hazelnuts add their special buttery taste and crunch to a savoury stuffing.

  • Portion size 8 servings


  • 3 1/2 lbs whole pike cleaned and scaled, with head and tail left on
  • 3 1/2 lbs whole pickerel cleaned and scaled, with head and tail left on
  • lemon wedges
  • parsley sprigs
  • 1 cup hazelnut
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Stuffing: Spread hazelnuts in single layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 minutes or until skins crack to reveal nut meats. Transfer to a terry cloth towel and rub vigorously to remove skins. Chop nuts coarsely; place in large bowl.

In skillet, heat all but 2 tbsp (25 mL) of oil; saut?nions and mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, basil and rosemary. Combine with nuts, bread crumbs and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Wipe fish inside and out. Fill body cavity with stuffing; sew opening closed. Brush fish all over with oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Transfer to serving platter and surround with lemon wedges and parsley.

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Whole Baked Fish with Hazelnut Stuffing