Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Immerse the whole snapper in a sink of cold water (this will prevent the scales from flying all over the kitchen) and remove any remaining scales. Remove any blood or dark skin from the belly cavity of the fish with scissors or a sharp knife and trim the fins. Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels.
To make the herb stuffing, melt the butter in a medium frying pan. Add the onion and cook until it is soft and translucent. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon rind, parsley, thyme leaves, dill and breadcrumbs and season to taste. Mix well to combine the stuffing.
Cut three slashes, each 1 cm deep, into the thickest part of the fish on both sides. Brush both sides of the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Loosely fill the cavity with the stuffing (do not overfill as the stuffing will expand during cooking, causing the flesh to split). Close the cavity and secure with wooden toothpicks.
Select a shallow ovenproof dish that is large enough to contain the fish and pour in enough olive oil to thinly cover the base. Place the fish in the prepared dish and cover tightly with two sheets of foil.
Bake the whole fish in the preheated oven for 45–50 minutes, or until the fish is cooked when tested at the thickest part – the flesh should be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork. Serve the baked fish immediately with lemon wedges.
No alterations to stuffing ingredients except to say if 3 X 700 gms fish is substituted for the approx 2kg fish there will be enough left over to do a couple of baked 300gm trout. Looking forward to that too.
We cooked this for my son's birthday at his request. We did it exactly per the recipe the only difference being we used 3 700gm snapper. The result was extremely good and it was the first time we had ever baked whole fish.
Because there were three smaller fish they were cooked in 20 minutes at 180C
There are no tweaks as first time up if you like the sound of a recipe it's a courtesy to the recipe provider to do it their way.
How it is possible to review a recipe for herb stuffed fish and not use any of the herbs or even the prescribed bread is totally beyond me.
This recipe is worth the five stars!