When I called Siemens two weeks ago to arrange an inspection for our broken oven, I was told that it was manufactured in 1994 (!!) and due to the fact that it was older than Justin Bieber, there would be a more expensive inspection charge. To be fair, the oven itself technically still worked, but the old school plastic knobs had completely broken so that I didn’t know what the temperature was, what function the oven was on, and the lamps were broken so I couldn’t see what was going on inside the oven – but it still got hot!
Our landlord chose to just buy a new oven rather than muck about, and I was so super excited when our brand new, stainless steel beauty arrived this week. In fact, I realised that I had never used a brand new oven in my life, ever. PB and I started getting really excited, negotiating over who would cook what and when (I know, we’re total food geeks), and who ultimately would be the one to christen it.
Naturally, it was me… 🙂
Since it was a weekday I needed a simple, easy to prepare and fast-cooking recipe. I had recently made a fresh batch of homemade yoghurt (using my nifty Severin yoghurt maker, which I bought for a whopping £22.89 the last time I was in the UK, and it has been a very welcomed addition to the kitchen arsenal) and found an awesome recipe for a yoghurt marinade for baked fish. If you get home after work and don’t have time to marinade the fish, I would just skip that step – I’m sure it will taste just as good!
A whole fish dish definitely benefits from having one large fish rather than two small ones, to maximise the meat and minimise the small bones. Aside from this, I found that the barramundi held together much better when cooking, and had a nicer firm texture than the sea bass. Verdict – the barramundi was the overall winner for this recipe! I’m sure the yoghurt marinade would also work well with a whole butterflied chicken, salmon fillets or maybe even prawns or lamb. Spiced Yoghurt Baked Whole Fish
1kg whole firm white fish (sea bass, barramundi, snapper)
6-8 branches of fresh coriander, thick stems removed
6-8 branches of mint, leaves only
2 limes, seeded and juiced
2 large chillies, seeded (or 1 tbsp chilli flakes)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1.5″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper
1/2 red onion, finely minced (optional) Method:
♥ Purée your coriander, mint, lime juice, chilli (or chilli flakes if you have it in the pantry), garlic, ginger in a food processor until a smooth paste, scraping down the sides as you go. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the yoghurt, olive oil, cumin, chilli powder, salt and pepper.
♥ Place the fish in an appropriately sized baking dish and cover with half of the marinade, making sure whole whole fish is evenly coated. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature. Reserve the rest of the marinade as a dipping sauce later – I liked my sauce with just a quarter of red onion added, finely diced.
♥ Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F and bake the fish for 20-25 minutes, then switch to grill for 2-3 minutes for some nice colour. I served my fish with some colourfully spiced turmeric rice!