The crispy skin, crunchy tail fin, fleshy cheeks (my mum likes the eyeballs)…In my opinion, these are the things that make digging into a whole fish worthwhile. Dorade is a meaty fish with a really clean flavor, and just a hint of sweetness and minerality. I find with this fish, less is more. Still, it’s extremely versatile can hold up to a range of preparations from assertive Mediterranean to aromatic Asian.
I encourage you to try this at home. Look for fish weighing about 1 pound each. You won’t want to deal with cleaning and deboning such a small fish yourself so have your fishmonger butterfly it for you. To cook, crank your oven as high as it will go. Once it’s preheated, heat some oil in a large saute pan or oven proof wok. Season your fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Gently place it into the pan and leave it alone to sear on one side. Once it’s beginning to crisp, flip the fish over and pop it in the oven for 8-10 minutes to cook through.
Once you pull it out of the oven, you can serve it simply with a few wedges of lemon. If you want to take it a step further, return the pan the stove and toss in some julienne ginger, some sliced garlic, and baste the fish with the infused oil from the pan. From there you can add some chopped scallions, cilantro and lime to brighten things up. Or…you may take a more classic approach and instead add some butter to the pan, lightly brown it, then add capers, lemon juice and parsley…or maybe add some olive oil, minced shallots, heirloom cherry tomatoes and a nice mild vinegar…endless possibilties…
4 thoughts on “Pan Roasted Whole Dorade”
we buy our fish from a number of purveyors including lobsterplace and Pierless fish. lobsterplace has a retail location at Chelsea market that is currently under renovation but due to reopen within the next couple of weeks.
Also, P, what do you think of pomfret? Does this match the taste quality of dorade?
Where can you buy fresh dorade? What fish markets do you frequent (besides D’Artagnan for meats)?
Whole fish is always so intimidating! You make it sound easy. I’ve gotta try this.