When my father used to go on a diet and seafood was served for lunch, mom used to bake him this simple garlic and lemon fish versus the fried fish us kids used to enjoy. This baked fish recipe tastes awesome grilled on mesquite charcoal as well.
“zayt w toom w hamud” which means oil, garlic and lemon is just so common of a sauce or marinade in Lebanese cuisine. And it applies to fish too. The concept here is simple. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, crush some garlic cloves with olive oil, salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stuff a whole fish with this sauce, roll with aluminum foil and bake (or grill). And if you’re short on time, stuff the fish with garlic and lemon chunks, roll with foil and bake.
We found that fish from the cod family taste best for this recipe. Our favorite one being the Red Snapper. Recently mom discovered that the Branzini fish tastes great baked this way as well. Now on to the recipe…
- 2 Whole Red Snapper Fish or equivalent in Cod (4 lbs total)
- 2 lemons juiced
- 1 lemon cut into 8 pieces
- 8 table spoons of olive oil
- 2 heads of garlic, pealed and crushed
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Clean fish and rinse with cold water, make ½ to 1 inch deep cuts throughout (depending on thickness of fish) then salt it inside and out using ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Crush garlic, 6 table spoons of olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt using a mortar and pestle, blender or small food processor. If using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with salt first, then slowly add oil while continuously whisking. Once oil is fully added, slowly start adding lemon juice and stirr/whisk.
- Place fish on aluminum foil that's already been oiled to prevent sticking, stuff inside of fish and inside of cuts with the resulting garlic sauce, add lemon chunks inside of fish, roll and seal foil then place on tray in oven at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.