A fish inside a fish

A fish inside a fish

By
From
Slow
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Tara Fisher

This dish is really clever, and I’ve got my team to thank for it. They were on a roll, and I had to stop them stuffing eight fish inside each other! The idea comes from a traditional dish in which game birds are boned and stuffed inside one another. It looks tricky, but it’s really quite simple, and fish is far easier to work with than game. You could use greaseproof paper in place of the banana leaf. For a more economical version, try adapting the recipe with salmon, red mullet or sea bass, and mackerel. Ask your fishmonger to butterfly the fish for you.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 x 60cm sheets banana leaf
90g butter
1 x 2.5kg salmon, cleaned, gutted and pin bones removed
6 tablespoons fresh chervil sprigs
1 x 1.5-1.7kg sea bass, head removed and butterflied
4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 x 600g cooked lobsters, shelled
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the banana leaves on a large baking tray, overlapping slightly. Thickly slice the butter.
  2. Place the salmon lengthways on the banana leaves and season with salt and pepper. Place half the butter slices over the flesh, then scatter the chervil sprigs in the cavity.
  3. Place the sea bass skin-side down inside the salmon cavity on top of the chervil, then season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining butter and scatter over the parsley leaves. Place the lobster meat in a line down the centre of the sea bass. Fold the salmon over the sea bass so that it looks like a whole fish again.
  4. Lifting it off the banana leaves slightly, tie the salmon at 10cm intervals with kitchen string to hold its shape. Fold the banana leaves over the salmon, then roll up into a cylinder and tie both ends with string to secure it. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. It’s great with a simple, crisp green salad, some crème fraîche flavoured with lemon juice, and crusty bread.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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