Whole spiced fish

Whole spiced fish




  • 2 x 1 kg red snapper or any other suitable fish
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander root and stem, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • half a  teaspoon cumin, ground
  • half a teaspoon coriander, ground
  • half a teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cooking salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine above ingredients (excluding the fish) in a mortar and pestle or blender and process until you have a thick paste.

Wash the whole fish under cold water then pat dry with paper towel.

Make three diagonal cuts into each side of the fish and rub the paste in, getting it into the flesh as well as the skin. Rub some of the paste into the cavity too.

Allow the fish to sit for 15 minutes for flavours to meld.

Spray foil lined baking tray with cooking spray, place fish on tray and roast for 30 minutes.

Remove and serve.


  • If your kids are still getting used to spices, rub the paste on their portion of fish, however before serving it to them, remove the skin so they still taste the spices but in a much more mellow version.
  • Serving a whole fish isn‰t as daunting as it looks. Once the fish is cooked, the flesh is easy to remove.
  • Cut along the top of the fish and pull out fins with your fingers then gently lift meat from bone with a spatula. Once one fillet is removed, simply pick up the tail and pull the fish carcass up and then remove. This will just leave the other fillet exposed, along with a few straggling bones.
  • I served this with steamed rice and the zucchini and tomato pie.
  • Recipe created by Camilla Baker for Kidspot, New Zealand‰s best recipe finder.



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