Make Whole Stuffed Snapper with Julia Ostro | Co-Lab Pantry

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Make Whole Stuffed Snapper with Julia Ostro - Armelle Habib

Photo by Armelle Habib

Make Whole Stuffed Snapper with Julia Ostro

Published on
By Co-lab Pantry

This Friday, it's Good Friday which means typically we'll be consuming fish. Putting on a feast for the fam and doing our best to impress at the same time. When doing so, we're leaning on one of the best cooks to lead the way, the incredibly talented Julia Ostro!

Julia has shared a recipe from her book A Year of Simple Family Food, creating a traditional recipe that comes from her routes (and ours). In Malta, it's traditional to stuff fish this way. Julia has rested the snapper on a bed of potato, fennel and shallot for a complete meal. One large snapper is the norm in her family, but smaller ones are often more manageable and look quite lovely, too.


Serves 6.


  • 1 x 1.5 kg snapper or 2 x 750 g snapper, cleaned, scaled and gutted
  • 3 large waxy potatoes, finely sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced, fronds roughly chopped and reserved for the stung
  • 1 French shallot, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Large handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Large handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 150 g fresh breadcrumbs (see Note page 33)
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and patted dry
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Dry the snapper thoroughly inside and out using paper towel. If using one larger snapper, make sharp cuts in the top of the flesh on one side of the fish to help it cook a little faster.
  3. To make the stu‚ng, combine the tomato, herbs, breadcrumbs, capers, lemon zest and olive oil in a large bowl with the reserved fennel fronds. Season to taste.
  4. Arrange the potato, fennel and shallot in a large roasting tin and drizzle over 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the fish on top and then, using your hands, fill the cavity with the stu‚ng. Drizzle the fish with the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and season well.
  5. Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C, remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until the fish is just cooked and the potato is golden. A large snapper may need a little longer so keep checking every 5 minutes after the 30-minute mark. Serve with plenty of lemon wedges.

Find more recipes from Julia's Book, A Year of Simple Family Food.