Going Back To My Roots
It was time for a fish night, so I figured I'd roast something in the oven like I usually do. Normally I would go for fish like a whole trout, sea bass or dorada and serve it with some grilled root veggies. I realized I have a tendency of choosing imported fish over local so I went rebellious this time and got myself a whole damn pike and here's how it turned out. It felt a bit like Christmas Eve at my grandma's.
Less is More
Whole fish used to freak me out. I used to think that it really is difficult to cook the whole thing, more so - cook it nicely, but all you need is a few simple ingredients and a good quality catch. As it often is with seafood: less is more.
Don't be afraid of roasting a whole fish. It is actually the easiest way of cooking it. Choose basic ingredients for flavouring, you only need a few: garlic, onion, lemon, salt and pepper. With these guys you will go a long way. Pike does not have an overpowering taste, so basic ingredients work really well with it.
TIPS ON COOKING A WHOLE FISH:
Do not overcook. The longer it cooks, the harder the protein become. Also, your fish might lose all the juiciness and become very dry.
Make sure the fish is dry before cooking. Wash the fish and pat it dry before putting in the oven.
Salt just before cooking and do it lightly as salt extracts moisture.
Serves 4 people (larger pike) | Total time: 30 minutes
- a whole pike (insides removed)
- garlic cloves
- olive oil
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- herbs to serve
Season & Prep
Firstly, preheat your oven to 170°C (fan) or about 180-190° C (no fan). In the meantime, salt and pepper the fish from the inside as well as outside. Stuff it with lemon and onion slices, squeeze lemon juice all over the fish. Add whole unpeeled garlic cloves on the baking tray next to it. Drizzle olive oil over the fish and garlic. Place it in the oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes or a creamy potato mash.