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Poached whole snapper

A recipe from the Good Food collection.



  • 10-15 cos lettuce leaves
  • 1.25 kg (2½ lb) whole snapper, gutted and scaled
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup (170 ml/5 1/2 fl oz) fish stock
  • 2/3 cup (170ml/5 1/2 fl oz) white wine
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 155 g (5 oz) unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/ Gas 4). Place the lettuce in a large bowl, cover with boiling water to soften, then drain well and refresh in cold water.

2. Trim the fins off the fish with kitchen scissors. Fill the cavity of the fish with one of the sliced onions and the lemon. Wrap the fish completely in the lettuce leaves and place into a deep-sided baking dish.

3. Pour the stock and wine over the fish. Add the remaining onion, peppercorns and bay leaf to the dish, then dot the lettuce with 30 g (1 oz) of the butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the flesh flakes in the thickest part when tested with a fork.

4. Remove the fish from the dish, transfer to a serving dish and keep warm. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, then boil for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter a little at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened slightly. Stir in the lime juice and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve on the side.

Main ingredient:
Family meals


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