Fish is easily overcooked therefore care must be taken when using the oven. Whole fish are best for roasting, particularly oily species. Here are four different methods of baking fish:
- Wrapping in Foil – fillets, portions and whole fish can be wrapped in foil with a little liquid, herbs and seasoning to create the steam which cooks the fish
- En Papillote – The same principle as wrapping in foil with enough liquid to create steam, but using greaseproof paper to create individual portion sized “parcels” which are to be served at the table, adding a little “theatre” as the parcels are opened and the aroma of the dish is released
- Baking in Salt – Whole cleaned fish can be placed on a tray with a thick layer of sea salt. This is sprayed with water and creates a thick crust when cooked (a 500g fish requires 25 minutes at 200°C). Once cooked, break the crust and gently pull away the salt from the fish taking care not to damage the skin. The fish is then filleted and served. This brings out the flavour and is ideal for Sea Bass and Sea Bream
- En Croute – Fillets or portions wrapped in puff pastry, usually with a sauce or filling. Can be individual or multi – portion like a Koulibiac, the traditional Russian “Salmon Wellington” made with rice, hard boiled egg and mushrooms
- If baking white fish fillets oil or baste in butter prior to cooking
- When roasting whole fish always ensure the skin is on.