This recipe is suitable for whole fish or fillets. It is from my book: Food For Sport Cookbook.
4 large or 8 smaller leaves of spinach, silver beet or lettuce
4 fillets of white fish (e.g. snapper or flathead) or 4 small, whole fish (e.g. bream), scaled and cleaned, but left whole
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1 lemon or lime, thinly sliced
- If using silver beet, remove any thick ribs.
- Place the washed leaves in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and leave to soften for 3 minutes. Drain leaves and allow to cool. Place each piece of fish on a large leaf, or on 2 smaller leaves placed side by side.
- Sprinkle over black pepper. Arrange 2-3 slices of lemon or lime on top of each piece of fish.
- Wrap each piece of fish completely in leaves; if necessary, use small wooden skewers to hold in place.
- Wrap each fillet well in the foil, sealing along the top so juices are not lost during cooking, or when the foil parcels are opened.
- Place the fish on a baking tray and bake at 180°C (350°F), or barbecue over glowing coals. For fish fillets, 20 minutes; for whole fish, 30 minutes.
- Open foil along the sealing edge and serve immediately. Fresh, wholemeal bread and a salad of steamed fresh vegetables make fine accompaniments.
Cooking time: Using 3 large fillets – 6-8 minutes.
Using the microwave you cannot, of course, cook the fish in an outer wrapping of foil. However, this dish is attractive when wrapped only in the leaves and cooked in a casserole; the microwave enhances the green of the leaves. Prepare the leaves as in Step 2 of the method above. Place each fish fillet on a single leaf large enough to completely enfold it. Sprinkle the fish with black pepper and arrange 2-3 slices of lemon on top of each fillet. Wrap leaves securely around the fish. Cover each parcel with plastic wrap. Place on a plate, microwave on ‘High’ for 6 minutes if fillets are fairly thin, or 8 minutes if thick.