The easiest and best way to cook a fish is to make a whole baked fish. The flesh is at its juiciest and most tender, and it’s completely effortless. And better still, stuffed it with lots of fresh aromatic herbs to enhance the taste profile!
The recipe below is adapted from recipe.tin.eats, which has wonderful recipe collections and detailed instructional videos. Do check it out too!
Preheat oven to 220°C or (200°C fan). Line a tray with parchment/baking paper.
Slash flesh: Cut 3 slashes on each side of the cleaned and gutted fish, cutting through flesh down to the bone
Stuff fish: Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper inside the cavity of the fish. Scatter the cavity with garlic slices, then stuff with herbs. Layer lemons on top of herbs. (I find that the aroma of the herbs permeates the flesh of the fish better if you let the herbs stuffed in the fish for at least 2 hours before baking it.)
Season skin: Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper on the skin (both sides), including a bit on the head of the fish. Then drizzle with olive oil. Rub all over the fish, including in the slashes.
Bake 20 minutes: Place fish on prepared tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 55°C (insert thermometer in the thickest part of the fish, not against the bone). Alternatively, use a small knife at one of the cut slits in the fish to prise a bit of meat gently away from the spine. If it flakes away from the bone without resistance, it's done.
Rest: Remove from oven, transfer to serving platter and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to 58°C.
Serve with Garlic & Dill Butter Sauce on the side. Either pour over the butter just prior to serving the fish, or let everyone help themselves.
GARLIC & DILL BUTTER SAUCE:
Melted butter: Place butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds to 1 minute until it smells ridiculously good and you're salivating!
Add dill: Remove from heat. Stir in dill. Use per recipe.