Whole Stuffed Fish
115 Min

Whole Stuffed Fish

A whole fish is a showstopper to serve at a dinner party, especially right at the table. It is also relatively easy to assemble than to cut fish in steaks or chunks. All the guests must let their guard down and get their hands dirty to really enjoy the fish. The juices of the fish seep into the rice filling, adding even more flavor. The fish can be marinated and assembled entirely and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. This filling has cooked rice but vegetables like roasted butternut squash combined with nuts or roasted potatoes with lemon also made a delicious filling. Served with a tangy green salad on the side, the whole stuffed fish makes for a memorable meal.
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Cook Time

115 Minutes + refrigeration time



Step 1
Remove any scales or fins, and completely remove the insides of the fish. Leave the bones and flesh intact. Clean thoroughly and rub with salt, pepper, amchur and coconut oil. Set aside.
Step 2
To make the stuffing, over high heat in a medium sized frying pan, warm the coconut oil and pop the mustard seeds. Immediately add the kari leaves, minced onion, and garlic and saute for 4 to 5 minutes until they have sweated and are translucent. Turn the heat off and let the onions cool a little.
Step 3
Combine the onion mixture with the rice, tomatoes, ginger, and serrano. Stuff the entire fish with the mixture and place in a baking sheet. The fish can be refrigerated for a few hours or overnight.
Step 4
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cover the fish with foil loosely and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes then turn the heat down to 300°F and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Take the foil off the last 5 to 7 minutes. Let the fish rest for at least 10 minutes.
Step 5
Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and a side of cilantro chutney drizzled with olive oil.

2.5-to-3-pound whole snapper or another whole fish of your choice

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon amchur

2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Juice from one lemon

1 cup cilantro chutney

Olive oil for drizzling


3 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 stalks kari leaves, minced

1 cup minced onions

2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 cups cooked rice (or quinoa)

1 cup toasted coconut

2 cups minced regular or cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 serrano pepper, minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

Notes & Variations

  • Frozen coconut works better than dried for this recipe. If you must use dried, reconstitute with warm water before adding to the rice.
  • To evenly cook the whole fish, it is better to cook smaller fish up to 3 pounds maximum or it will be dry in some places.
  • Coconut oil has a distinct flavor not loved by all; if you prefer, use ghee, olive or sesame oil.
115 Min

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