Whole roasted fish is a Hanukkah Holiday Classic that seems much more intimidating to prepare than it actually is. Pick out a fresh fish and have your fishmonger clean it for you—after that it’s just a matter of stuffing the cavity with aromatics, and roasting for about 20 to 25 minutes, it really is that simple!

Whole Roasted Fish

Serves 2


1x 2-lb whole fish, such as sea bass, red snapper or Branzino, scaled and gutted

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Lemon slices, peeled crushed garlic cloves, peeled ginger slices, fresh oregano sprigs, and fresh parsley sprigs, for stuffing

Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing and drizzling


Preheat oven to 380°F and position the rack in center of oven and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Take a sharp knife and score the fish two to three times on each side. Season fish inside and out with salt and pepper, then stuff the belly cavity with lemon slices, crushed garlic cloves, ginger, and herb sprigs.

Roast fish until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 135°F (57°C), about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on dimensions and thickness of the fish.

Alternatively, roast until fins come right off when pulled and flesh can be felt to flake under the skin when you press on it. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Recipe: Chef Mark Allison