Fagri Fish Recipe
Fagri Fish Recipe – a quick and simple way to cook Fagri fish in the oven. Ready in 20 minutes, this fish pairs well with salads or grilled/steamed vegetables.
Spending time in Europe has been an amazing experience for me, as we visited many interesting places, including Greece (more than once). There I was introduce to a few different varieties of fish, that are worth trying.
While you can order a grilled/roasted whole Fagri at a taverna right at the port, finding Fagri at the grocery store in Bulgaria was easy, so I decided to make it at home and share the recipe with you.
This fish is very popular in Greece and usually prepared grilled.
I’ve found a great way of cooking whole fish of this size in the oven (I also cook Cipura and Lavraki the same way), which is fast, foolproof and mess free.
Fish needs to be cleaned on the inside and washed, then you salt it on the inside and out and bake it in the oven at 400 F (or slightly higher), until fully cooked.
Of course you don’t get the nice charred look and flavor, that grilling produces, but you also don’t need to get outside and deal with your fish sticking, grill that is either too hot or cold, or for example – you run out of gas.
What is Fagri?
If you are asking yourself, what fish is common in Greece? Fagri, together with Barbouni, Bakaliaros and Greek Sea Bass (Lavraki) are among the popular types of fish, that you can try. Size – it is considered a large fish with the average one at the fish market around 1- 2 lb in weight and 12 inches long. Of course, size and weight can vary greatly. I personally found one whole fish of this size to be enough for 1 hungry person. Bigger ones could be a little too much and can be shared.
A species unique to Mediterranean waters, Fagri fish is relatively large in size and silvery-rose in color. It is flavorful, with a slight earthiness and firm flesh, it tastes rather “meaty” than fishy.
Fagri could be wild caught or farmed (the less expensive option).
Cleaned whole fish
- What is considered a clean whole fish? – Most of the time, the fish we buy at the Fish Market or Grocery Store is cleaned and we don’t have to deal with the process of cleaning. But what if you catch the fish yourself (or it is given to you)? Then it needs to be cleaned. If you are leaving the skin on, you just need to remove the scaled. Remove the fins from the fish by cutting them off. This is done best with the back of a knife or a spoon. Just scrape them out and remove from the fish. With a sharp knife cut through the stomach from the anus to the head. Remove the guts and entrails. After removing them, using a spoon scoop out the fish’s kidney by the spine if it has one. Rinse under cold water. Use in the recipe.
- Filleting a whole fish: Remove the head. Cut through the fish’s spine to create fish steaks. Turn the fish’s spine towards you and cut above the backbone to start a filet. Peel the side of the fish up to cut a fillet out. (Source: Wiki How)
How to cook Fagri Fish in the oven?
- Seasoning – I use regular Iodized salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the fish on the inside (cavity) and out. Then put a couple of lemon slices inside the cavity. You can also add some fresh herbs like oregano, thyme and parsley. Garlic powder, minced or pressed fresh garlic could be also used to season fish on the inside, but I personally find its flavor overpowering on this fish.
- Roasting time/Temperature – I like to use a probe oven thermometer, which ensures that the fish is perfectly cooked on the inside. But you can achieve great results without one. For a 1 and 1/2 – 2 lb Fagri – bake at 400 F (200 C) for 20 minutes, until it is fully cooked and nicely golden on the outside. The general rule (with some exceptions) is 20 minutes per 2 lb (1 kg) of whole fish. The temperature of the meat (internal temperature) should be 150 F (65 C).
- Sauce – this roasted Fagri is moist (juicy) and flavorful and I skipped the sauce. But you can take the extra step and prepare a Greek olive oil and lemon sauce that will bring extra freshness to the dish. Called Ladolemono, it is just a mixture of one part lemon juice, two parts olive oil, salt and garlic (optional). Use a blender or a hand whisk to combine the ingredients.
More fish/seafood recipes:
Baked Fagri Fish
- 2 medium to large Fagri fishes — about 1 lb/500 grams each (The inside of the fish needs to be cleaned, all scaled on the outside cleaned as well)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 lemon slices or more to taste
- 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
- Fresh herbs like parsley — oregano or rosemary to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
If you have a probe thermometer, set it up.
Wash and pat dry the fish on the inside and outside.
Season with salt and pepper on the inside and outside of the fish. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
Place the fish on the baking sheet.
Bake fagri at 400 F for around 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish is 145 (150) F. There is no need to turn the fish.
How to debone a whole cooked fish?
Using a spoon press to separate the head.
Remove the lemon from the cavity.
Press with a spoon or fork along the spine.
Open the fish and remove the spine. Remove any larger bones that are left. Run fingers along the flesh to check for any bones left. Remove them.