Herb Stuffed Fish

17 Sep

Hello lovelies, alo alo is salmon fishy goin on here?! Holy mackerel…nope it’s snapper. 

enough punning around? k *hangsheadinshame*


Today I embarked on preparing a dish because lovely hubby had mentioned he enjoyed a fish meal at our friend’s home. A whole stuffed fish. With eyeballs. And teeth. And scales. And really sharp fins. And very many guts bits. Okay he didn’t say that, just that the fish was nice!

Are you still with me there?

Oh, good! You must be a parent or have a strong stomach.

Anyhoo, I was waltzing the supermarket aisles (as much you can with two sick children who are FULL of energy and questions!), and I happened upon whole snapper just begging to be taken home. I took a healthy 1kg baby home.

At home, of course too late really, I remembered that I would have to scale and gut the rascal. Yeah, super. Last time I did this was in the archaeology lab 10 years ago in preparation for maceration. The smell memory was now freaking me out!

The kiddy bids thought it was awesome. I was afraid it was still alive. I was truly, swear to God, waiting for it to take a breath and I could take the opportunity to run away very fast and never come back. Yeah, I hadn’t got to the guts at that point.

Bloody fins kept stabbing me. Painful. Nothing for it I pulled out the kitchen scissors and ripped those babies out, one-by-one. Revenge.

After I had scaled and vomited gutted the fish, I was good to go. So, because the recipe was a huge success I am sharing. Had it been a super failure I shall never have mentioned a thing to even the cat while he ate the remains of the failed fish (taking for granted that he would have eaten the thing – probably not since I haven’t a cat anyway. Confused? Me too! It’s a permanent state I wander through). The what? Oh, the recipe! Sure, have you had enough of my jabbering? Righty-oh then!

Here goes:

Herb Stuffed Fish

  • 1 whole fish
  • 1/8 C oil
  • 2 Tblsn butter
  • 2 onions
  • 4 large lemon balm leaves
  • 1 large bunch fresh dill
  • 1 small handful each parsley and coriander
  • 5 large mint leaves
  • 2 small leaves of sage
  • tiny bunch of thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 garlic scapes (optional)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon – sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 180C (or about 350F)

Separately, finely chop the onion, garlic and herbs. Heat the butter in a fry pan and gently fry the onions until golden. Add the chopped garlic cloves and fry gently for 1 minute. Add the chopped herbs and fry gently for 2 minutes. Add  salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.

Place the whole cleaned fish in an oven proof dish. Squeeze half the lime into the empty cavity and squeeze the other half over the outside of the fish. Stuff the fish cavity with the onion and herb mixture, and slices of lemon. Close the cavity together and turn the fish into the swimming position in the ovenproof dish. Pour the oil over the fish and lightly cover with tin foil.

Bake in the centre of the oven and to test when it is cooked pierce the centre of the fish to make sure the juices run clear (I check numerous different points on the fish to check the juices). My fish was 1kg and took 1 hour to cook.

Ensure each person gets plenty of herb stuffing with their fish and bones ahoy be careful.

Serve with white buttery rice (as per below recipe).

Persian Chelou White Rice.

1 1/2 C per 2 persons

1 Tblsn salt

2 Tblsn butter

Wash the rice in cold water about 3-4 times. Place in a saucepan and cover with water (the water should measure above the rice to the first joint of your index finger (i.e. about 1 cm or so). Add the salt and 1 Tblspn butter. Bring to the boil and simmer until the water has almost disappeared and the rice is almost cooked. At this point wrap a teatowel around the saucepan lid and pop this onto the saucepan and press lid on firmly (if you haven’t cooked this way before ensure no teatowel is near heat or flame but is tucked firmly and securely around the lid). Turn the heat to low and steam until rice is fully cooked. To check if cooked have a taste of a few grains. When cooked, add the remaining Tblsn of butter and then turn onto a serving plate.

Enjoy this beautiful Persian plain rice (called chelou) with so many dishes, like kebabs, fish, chicken and eggplant stew…

I’m sorry for the apparent inability to post a recipe without talking but I can’t brush my teeth without doing so…so that’s explanation enough right there! And I am being true to myself as you well know! (And if you don’t know then you may not have started at the beginning so please go here)

I have some photos of this meal the second time I make this dish (tonight) because we were so overcome by deliciousness that we ate first last time! This time I asked the fishmonger to ‘deal with’ the fish and then hand it back to me. I left the fin bits and bobs because I was over cleaning fish! I am a nature lover, and am all for natural, organic, healthy, foods and fish cleaned and all spick and span done by the fishmonger. I picked the herbs and lemons myself. And washed and cut them though! Half mine.

Eat well and eat fish lovelies, it’s so good for you! Doing good by your body does good by your mind. (I swear to you right now the pun-carrying, philosophising Lovely Loulabel is leaving now…)


2 Responses to “Herb Stuffed Fish”

  1. purple3ivy September 17, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Om nom nom! I may actually attemp this, but I think I’ll ask the fish monger to gut and scale it for me…

  2. Love Loulabel September 17, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Me too, on all accounts! xox

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