Oven-roasting a stuffed whole salmon
Here we look at making a whole salmon stuffed with red onion, jalapeno, garlic and lemon. The technique could not be easier and produces a very moist fish with crispy, seasoned skin.
While it may look intimidating making a whole salmon in the oven could not be easier. It also has the virtue that it will come out very moist and with a delicious, crispy skin.
This can be head and tail on or off, it does not matter.
This recipe and and technique is, however, meant for a whole fish that has been cut down the middle to create an inner cavity.
To begin you want to decide what you are going to stuff your fish with.
While there are a number of options and variations we went with red onion, lemon, garlic and fresh jalapenos.
Rub the inside of the cavity with some sea salt and black pepper. Meanwhile cut up a red onion, lemon, an unseeded jalapeno and 2 or 3 garlic cloves. Toss the onion, jalapeno and garlic in a teaspoon or so of olive oil.
Take all the lemon, garlic, jalapeno and onion and stuff it into the cavity as evenly as possible.
Meanwhile, lightly oil a ridged baking tray with some olive oil. I like to also chop up some red onion as a bed for the salmon, but this optional. I like what it does to the under part of the skin, but unlike the onion inside the fish it will not edible after cooking.
Place the stuffed salmon diagonally across the oiled pan and bed of onion. Then rub the upper side with around a teaspoon of olive oil and season with sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Place four or five lemon slices on top.
Place the baking tray inside the oven preheated to 425 degrees. Cook for around one hour or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. (For the record Health Canada says salmon is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 70°C (158°F)).
Remove from the oven, discard the lemons on top and let sit for 5 minutes. You can put some fresh lemon slices on top if you want.
The top skin will easily come off and can be eaten on the side with the fish. It is really tasty and should be quite crunchy as well.
Serve by cutting into pieces however you like. The onions, garlic and jalapeno from inside should be served on the side. Note that whole fish is usually not fully deboned so you will have to watch for the small bones and should remove any from servings for small children.
Making fish this way virtually ensures it will be moist and it looks spectacular on a platter.
Enjoy with extra lemon wedges and any of the side dishes and wines you like salmon with.