Roasted Whole Snapper with Tarragon and Dill

By Bradley Jakubowski
June 10, 2018
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Author Notes: Although I live in Indonesia, I live up in the mountains where good quality sea food is hard to find or very expensive. But, in my recent trip to the store I happened to see a stunning Red Snapper with bright red gills and crystal clear eyes. I was stoked - and decided to change dinner plans around this beauty. Basically, we're going to take this whole fish, stuff it with flavor, place it in a tin foil tent and roast it (effectively steaming it).

I meant to take pictures of the prep but forgot. again.
Bradley Jakubowski

Serves: 3-4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min

  • 1 800g whole fish, scaled and gutted.
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 red onion sliced into rings
  • 1 lemon sliced into thin discs
  • 5 pinches sea salt or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. First, before your hands get all fishy, prepare the ingredients for stuffing. Organize your fresh herbs into their nice bunches, slice the lemon and onion, peel and crush the garlic (collectively, these will be referred to as the goods), set aside. Preheat your oven for 350F or 175C.
  2. Take your scaled and gutted red snapper (I used an 800ish gram one, but this would work for any size, just adjust the seasoning and baking time as best as you can). Using a sharp knife, score the fish on each side (maybe 2-3 slashes). Be careful not to go too deep.
  3. Take your salt and pepper and season the fish, inside and out, generously. Then, stuff your fish with the goods. If you prepared too many goods to fit in the fish, place them underneath and on top of during cooking.
  4. Place a big sheet of tin foil over your shallow roasting pan. Drizzle the bottom with some olive oil and any extra goods you have. Rest the fish in the middle and manipulate the foil into a tent like shape. You want 2-3 inches of space above the fish. The seams should be folded and sealed so as not to allow any moisture (and flavor) out. Cook the fish in the oven for about 45min at 175C. When time's up, let the fish rest for 5-10 minutes. Then bring to the table, peel the foil back carefully and wow your guests - or just yourself.
  5. I served this with couscous and some sauteed veggies. Potatoes would be even better, I say.

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