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Fish Baked in Foil with Fennel and Lime

February 22, 2011 • 21 Comments

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Fish Baked in Foil with Fennel and Lime

- Merrill

Pretty much everything my husband and I consumed at Kiwayu Safari Village -- a lovely eco-resort right on the Indian Ocean in Kenya -- involved lime in some way: from the virgin Dawa (lime juice mixed with water and a little sugar) we were offered as a refreshment when we first arrived (welcome drinks seem to be standard in East Africa, and I'll admit I kind of wish we had them here), to the wedges of lime served alongside fresh octopus salad or dressed crab at lunch, to the paper-thin slices of lime layered on top of the beautiful whole baked fish presented to us at the dinner table one night. What's more, the bartenders used a special tool to squeeze limes for our cocktails every night: it was a wooden juicer with two long handles, beautiful hand-carved detailing on the top, and a slightly off-center cluster of small holes for the juice to run through. We loved watching the bartenders squeeze lime and after lime with these.

The day before we left, the women working in the small shop at the hotel beckoned me to a corner, where she furtively unwrapped a small bundle. Inside, she had four of the lime squeezers. She said, "We normally don't sell these, but I have some extra -- would you like one?" I didn't hesitate, and I was soon walking back to our bungalow with a lime squeezer all my own.

Below is an adaptation of the recipe, given to me by the chef at Kiwayu, for the whole baked fish with lime -- in addition to the lime slices that get laid on top of the fish, the fish gets bathed in a delicate marinade of lime juice, olive oil and cilantro before baking. Lime heaven!

Fish Baked in Foil with Fennel and Lime

Adapted from Kiwayu Safari Village

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 medium whole fish, about 2 1/2 pounds (I used striped bass), head and tail on and scaled
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large lime, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


Jump to Comments (21)

Comments (21)

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over 3 years ago chef.luis

Great recipe... I was checking your newsletter and when I saw the fish, I dediced to cook it right away, I had everything on hand in the restaurant and as soon as I finish reading it I went to the kitchen to cook it for me, the fish turned out great, but I have to confess... I coudn't stop adding twice the butter :) to have more "sauce" to dip crusty bread in it! Thanks Merrill

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome! So glad you liked it. And I'm never against adding a little more butter...

Dsc07591-2

almost 4 years ago Pattiji

What does the inside of the lime press look like?

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Check out the second photo in the slideshow!

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almost 4 years ago dymnyno

Thanks for a great recipe/souvenir...the pics are fabulous, too!! I have been studying them.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're very welcome -- and glad you're enjoying the photos.

Dsc_0028

almost 4 years ago cookbookchick

Thanks, Merrill, for the recipe and the pictures of your lime squeezer. We live part-time in Maryland where striped bass is called rockfish and is the state fish. Can't wait to try this dish as soon as we return! I have always felt that the best souvenirs we can bring home from our travels are the recipes for foods we tasted and the memories that are rekindled every time we cook them.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I so agree!

Chris_in_oslo

almost 4 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

What a wonderful keepsake from your honeymoon. And the fish looks like a treat.

Merrill

almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks!

Summer_2010_1048

almost 4 years ago Midge

This sounds scrumptious and what a cool souvenir! Love the new set-up that makes it easier to save the recipe.

Merrill

almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you like the new set-up! We do too.

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almost 4 years ago dymnyno

The fish sounds delicious!

Merrill

almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thank you!

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almost 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love the fish and really really love the Africa pix!!!!

Merrill

almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad! It was truly an amazing trip.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

This is so beautiful, it could be a painting! I think this would be a great recipe for Meg with her feasting on art work to pair up with a painting (http://www.feastingonart...). The lime squeezer is so artful, too. Not to mention the flavor profile, mustard, fennel, and lime, yum.

Merrill

almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks! And what a cool site.

Jenn_claiborne

over 3 years ago SweetPotatoSoul

I agree, that lime squeezer is gorgeous. And the flavor profile is enticing. I'm a vegetarian, but your photos have me craving this fish, or at least a safari/beach vacation at Kiwayu.
@Sagegreen, thanks for sharing www.feastingonart.com, I love it!

Merrill

almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, in fact I suspect they may have even cooked it on the grill at Kiwayu.

Profile

almost 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Beautiful! I bet this would be a very grill-friendly dish, too. Thanks so much for sharing these dishes and your honeymoon memories with us!