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The Philadelphia Jewish Voice
October 2005 > Food

Lemon-Garlic Whole Striped Bass

This simple roasting method is delicious with any whole fish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

2 (1 1/4 –pound) whole striped bass or red snappers, with heads and tails left intact, cleaned, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon olive oil  
4 garlic cloves
2 lemons, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.      Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Place a baking sheet with sides on rack to heat.

2.      Cut 3 deep crosswise incisions in each side of fish, down to the bone, and place fish on a tray.

3.      Rub the fish inside and out with about 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Cut 1 garlic clove in half and rub all over the skin of the fish. Thinly slice all the garlic and insert in the slits and cavities of the fish. Squeeze lemon juice inside and on both sides of the fish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4.      Quickly brush the hot baking sheet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and transfer fish to baking sheet. They will sizzle.’

5.      Roast fish until just cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.

6.      Fish can be presented whole at the table and filets can be easily removed for serving: Remove top filet by cutting the skin along the top edge of back and along the belly, then carefully sliding a long metal spatula between the backbone and filet, and invert filet onto a platter. Pull out backbone, starting from the tail end, and discard. Transfer bottom filets to the platter.

7.      Garnish with thin slices of lemon.