Grab your favorite cast-iron pan and get ready for this crispy whole stuffed fish. It’s sure to become a favorite to grill and staple for the summer. By salting the chest cavity and throwing in lemon wheels and cilantro, flavor will be anything but absent. Choose from a variety of fish like trout or striped bass to enjoy this fresh but simple seasoning with. Add a new homemade chimichurri sauce recipe made of just five ingredients, and you’ll be coming back to this meal all season long. Prepare the sauce up to a week ahead and enjoy with other favorites like steak tacos or roasted potatoes.
Neutral oil, such as grapeseed
2 (1-2 pound) whole fish, such as trout, striped bass, or porgy, scaled and gutted
1 lemon, sliced into wheels
½ bunch cilantro leaves and tender stems
2 tablespoons butter
Chimichurri for serving (recipe follows)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons capers
Juice of 1 lime
¼-½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
For the fish:
For the sauce:
- Cook the fish: Prepare a campfire or grill. Oil a cast-iron skillet and heat until lightly smoking. Meanwhile, generously salt chest cavity of fish and stuff with lemon wheels and cilantro. Carefully score flesh, then rub fish with oil and generously salt.
- Place one fish onto cast-iron pan and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter (this helps deglaze and release the fish from the pan). Using a fish spatula and tongs, gently flip fish and cook on opposite side for another 5 minutes, until flesh is opaque and fish is cooked through.
- Repeat process with second fish, re-oiling the skillet in between. Serve with chimichurri
- Make the sauce: In a mixing bowl, combine cilantro, capers, and lime juice. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Sea-son with salt, taste, and add more capers, lime juice, or salt as needed. Chimichurri sauce can be made ahead and kept, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.
- Recipe by Lia Grabowski