Mushroom-Stuffed Ocean Perch


I bought a huge bag of mushrooms last week.  It’s a good thing that there is so much you can do with these fungi, and they taste so good. Or else sitting there and brushing all the crap off them would not have been worth it.

What did I do with these mushrooms? Chopped them up with some celery and stuffed them into a big fish. (And I only used half a bag. I should have stuffed two.) This turned out pretty nicely, because the tastier flavor of the stuffing really accents the fish (if you happen to find fish a little bland, I don’t really, but sometimes it also depends on the fish). Next time I think I’ll try a spicy stuffing.


To stuff a fish, you need a large, whole fish (2lbs or more) with medium-firm to firm flesh. To me for some reason that usually means something that is red … like a red snapper. Fish with delicate flesh like cod or tilapia are probably not be the best choices. These fresh, red ocean perches were on sale at T&T, so I bought one that was a little over 2 lbs. Now, if you or people you are feeding are finicky about whole fish (*sigh* Why), go ahead and buy thick fillets. But the effect isn’t quite the same, is it? Anyway, buy whole fish, and have your fish monger clean, scale, gut and cut it.  

 Recipe follows…

– One 2 to 2.5lb red snapper, or ocean perch.
– salt and pepper
– toothpicks soaked in water

– 1C mushrooms, finely chopped
– 1C celery, finely chopped
– 1/2 onion, finely chopped
– 1C cilantro, roughly chopped
– several cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
– few splashes of: cooking wine, soy sauce
– salt and pepper

– 2T onion, finely chopped
– some lemon juice and lemon slices (optional)

1. For the stuffing, brown onions and garlic under medium-high heat. Add celery, salt, and pepper. Add cooking wine and soy sauce to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add cilantro and cook another few minutes. Remove from heat.
2. For the (cleaned and scaled) fish, if the cavity is not deep enough for all the stuffing, cut deeper into it. Rub salt and pepper all over the outside and inside. Put the fish in a baking dish. (I had to cut most of the tail off because it was too long.)
Ocean perch
3. Generously stuff the fish with the stuffing. Use a few toothpicks to seal the fish once you are done to contain most of the stuffing (some will fall out anyway, I was a bit messy.)
4. Top the fish with 2T of chopped onions. And lemon slices/juice if using.
5. Bake 40-45 minutes in an oven preheated at 350F. (I did an hour, and burned my onions. Heh.)
6. Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro (to hide that burnt onion).


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