Ask your fishmonger to descale and gutter the fish. This will considerably reduce the amount of waste, save you a time and keep your wall clean (scales tend to fly around when I descale a fish…) but it will probably not be sufficient. Below is a picture of a fish cleaned by my local supermarket. The fish would not taste very nice if you cooked it in this condition.
Before cleaning the fish some more, get some kitchen roll ready (use 2 pieces per fish) and aluminium foil (long enough to wrap the fish into). Now let’s clean the fish: remove the gills by pulling them with your fingers:
Then, with a gentle stream of running water from the tap, run your finger along the whole spinal column like a hook pressing against the bone to remove any remaining dark coloured bits …
until you are left with something like this:
Rinse the head and back of the fish quickly, shake the fish a little over the sink. Then, wipe the inside and outside of the fish with the two kitchen towels. Place on a piece of foil and repeat the process for the other fish.
Scatter/drizzle the following ingredients inside the fish:
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon of Ricard Pernod pastis
- 2 slices of lemon
- and 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the side of the fish.
Wrap the foil around the fish …
Place in a plate and eat straight from the foil.