You are here

Indian Pan Fried Whole Fish with Baby Tomatoes

syginde1's picture
Cooking a whole fish is much easier than you think, try this delicious and easy recipe. You will "WOW" your family and friends!
  Whole firm white fish 1 Medium (red snapper)
  Shallots 2 , thinly sliced
  Garlic 2 Clove (10 gm), finley minced
  Ginger 1 Inch, finley minced (peeled)
  Thai green chilies 2 Small, finely chopped
  Baby tomatoes 2 Cup (32 tbs), cut in halves (small/ red)
  Turmeric 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Ground fennel seeds 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Salt To Taste
  Garam masala 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Pepper To Taste
  Ground cumin 1 Teaspoon
  Ground coriander 1 Teaspoon
  Vegetable oil/Canola oil 2 Tablespoon (adjust the quantity of oil as needed)
  Unsalted butter 1 Tablespoon
  Lime zest 1⁄2 Tablespoon
  Orange zest 1⁄2 Tablespoon
  Lime 1 , juiced
  Orange 1 , juiced
  Sugar 1 Pinch
  Chopped cilantro 1 Teaspoon

Thoroughly rinse the fish and pat dry. With a sharp knife, carefully score the fish by making long deep diagonal incisions about 2 inches apart on both sides of the fish. Season both sides of the fish, as well as the insides liberally with both salt and pepper.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the shallots, ginger, garlic, chilies and the spices (turmeric, ground fennel seeds, garam masala, ground cumin and ground coriander). Add the lime and orange zest, lime juice and a pinch of sugar if needed. Add 3 tbsp of oil and mix thoroughly. Pour this marinade generously over the fish, making sure to fill the inside of the fish and the incisions as well. Cover and let refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a large deep skillet on medium high heat with enough oil to shallow fry the fish. When hot, very carefully slide the fish into the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on one side. Gently turn the fish and cook an additional 4-5 minutes on the other side. The fish should be golden brown and flaky. Transfer to a serving platter. Add any remaining marinade to the pan along with the fresh orange juice and let simmer. Add the butter and the baby tomatoes. Let cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over the whole fish and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve hot with fragrant Basmati rice and fresh rotis or naan.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Main Dish
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
10 Minutes
Ready In: 
25 Minutes
Many people find cooking a whole fish to be quite a daunting task. Although it may seem just simpler to buy fish fillets, cooking the fish whole adds a rich wonderful layer of flavor and depth to the dish. The presentation can also be quite dramatic! This simple recipe is a great way to ease yourself into the idea of cooking the fish whole. I encourage you to try the recipe using a whole fish but do feel free to use fish fillets, it will be equally delicious. Any firm white fish will work for this recipe as long as it is fresh. You can ask the fishmonger to prepare the fish by having him remove the scales, fins and the insides. You can also ask him to recommend a good fish to cook whole, it should just weigh less than 2 lbs. This will easily feed 6 people.

Rate It

Your rating: None
Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 97 Calories from Fat 67

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 8 g11.6%

Saturated Fat 2 g9.8%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 5.4 mg1.8%

Sodium 82.1 mg3.4%

Total Carbohydrates 8 g2.6%

Dietary Fiber 1.7 g6.9%

Sugars 2.7 g

Protein 0.92 g1.8%

Vitamin A 5.9% Vitamin C 30.7%

Calcium 4.5% Iron 4.5%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


Sophia Bruzowski's picture
Maryam Behrouz's picture
Indian Pan Fried Whole Fish With Baby Tomatoes Recipe