Food Tips

How to serve a whole fish

How to serve a whole fish

Author: Canadian Living

Food Tips

How to serve a whole fish

Whether grilled, broiled, baked or steamed, a whole fish makes for a juicy, flavourful meal. Plus, it's a real showstopper when you place it on the table in front of guests. Here are some tips on how to serve a cooked whole fish, without ending up with flaky, messy bits.

1. Using a thin, sharp filleting knife, run the blade along the spine of the fish and around the head (if still attached) to release the flesh.

2. If the fish is large enough to serve more than one person, cut crosswise into portion-size pieces.

3. Using a thin, firm but flexible spatula or fish slice, and starting at the thicker (head) end of the fish, gently lift the flesh away from the bone and serve.

4. When the fillets have been removed from one side, either flip the fish over and repeat steps 1 to 3 or, using fingers, gently pull away the spine and bones, then cut remaining flesh into portions and serve.

Try these tasty whole fish recipes today

Bay Leaf and Salt-Baked Trout

Fresh bay leaves are readily available in the fresh herb section of most grocery stores. If you can't find them, stuff the trout cavities with fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, thyme or tarragon. Arctic char is also particularly good prepared this way.

Whole Baked Fish with Hazelnut Stuffing

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

Grilled Lemon Herb Trout for Two

Poached Whole Trout with Cucumbers

Lime and Chili-Roasted Whole Trout

This story was originally titled "Technique: Serving Whole Fish" in the May 2012 issue.

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Food Tips

How to serve a whole fish