Photo by David Bishop
See David’s link at http://www.dbishop.net
Marinating fish, whether whole, filleted, steak cut or chopped, is one of the tastiest ways to take advantage of seafood’s sweet and tender flaky flesh. Marinades not only impart flavor to food, they preserve moisture and tenderness. Add delicate vegetables and herbs to a palette of sweet, savory, salty, spicy and acidic liquids and seasonings to a fish filled oven proof covered baking dish, and bake gently for a foolproof ragoût de poisson.
Pictured here, the Arctic Char, vegetable and marinade presentation is being readied for the baking dish and oven. The beautifully colored whole fish was scaled and cleaned by the fish market, leaving the head and tail on for an elegant service. The cavity is stuffed with thinly sliced lemons and red onions for flavor and color.
I have been told more than once that this combination of fish, marinade and condiments is one of the best ever tasted. The marinade is a blend of high quality Mirin (Naturally sweet Japanese sake wine-Avoid using the cheap artificially sweetened corn syrup imitation), soy sauce, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, and Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chile Paste & Siracha Hot Chili Sauce (Chinese pepper vinegar preparations available in the Asian section of your grocery store). For amazing dazzle, sprinkle with sliced scallions, slivered fresh ginger, capers, dill, baby Funnel Chanterelle mushrooms (also known as yellowfoot or winter mushroom) and Maldon Natural Sea Salt Flakes.
If you don’t have a lid for your baking dish, cover the fish with a sheet of parchment paper and seal the dish with aluminum foil. I don’t like to let the foil touch the food to avoid adding aluminum residue, especially when acid is present in the food.
Recipe: Serves 4-6 (All measures are approximate and can easily be adjusted to your needs and taste)
- One fresh whole cleaned 3-4 Lb. fish with head and tail; Arctic Char, Salmon, Bass, Grouper, Snapper, etc.
- 1/2 thinly sliced lemon
- 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
Marinade: Whisk together
- 1/2 cup Mirin
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek Chile Paste
- 1 Teaspoon Siracha Hot Chili Sauce
- 1 cup baby Funnel Chantrelle Mushrooms, or your favorite mushroom
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/4 cup fresh dill leaves, torn
- 1/8 cup slivered fresh ginger
- Pinches of sea salt flakes
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350′ F
- Wash and dry cleaned fish
- Prepare marinade
- Rub marinade into the cavity of the fish
- Stuff the cavity of the fish with lemons and onion slices, alternating them
- Pour a bit of the marinade into the baking dish, just coating the bottom so the fish won’t stick
- Pour the marinade over the fish
- Sprinkle the flavor garnish over the fish and baking dish
- Cover the fish and dish with parchment paper
- Seal the baking dish with foil, or cover it with a fitting lid
- Bake for about 20 minutes for a larger fish and less for a smaller fish. Do not over cook. The fish should be just flaky and moist.
- Serve topped with excess marinade and flavor garnish as needed
Also see my food news column in the Huffington Post under Life & Style/Food at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilinda-hodgdon/