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Baked Whole Fish with Bacon & Basil edit


This recipe to prepare baked whole fish combines some of my favorite ingredients: corvina (seabass), bacon and garlic, flavored nicely with fresh basil and lime juice.

Get up early in the morning and visit the Fish Market, remember that only the freshest ingredients will make your cooking experience a total success! Chew on it a bit (no pun intended!) and let me know the goodies you found at the market cool hmm

For more information on the “Mercado del Marisco” in Panama City, head over to Lee’s Boquete Guide and check out: Fresh Fish for Breakfast and Walking Panama City - Mercado de Mariscos

Baked Whole Fish with Bacon & Basil


  • 2 (2-pound) whole fish, such as seabass, tilapia or red snapper, cleaned and scaled
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 slices of bacon


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Rinse the fish well under cold running water and pat dry on both sides and inside the cavity. Make several slits about 1/2-inch deep on both sides of the fish. Place the fish in a non-reactive shallow dish or platter and pour the lime juice over the fish. Cover and place in the fridge while you continue with the preparations.

Rub the bottom of a cookie sheet or shallow glass or ceramic dish (large enough to hold the two fish) with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Drizzle the fish with 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

Using a mortar and pestle, combine the minced garlic and kosher salt. Combine with minced onion, cumin and paprika to form a paste. Spread the garlic paste inside the cavity of the fish and into the slits on top. Top with the chopped basil and wrap 2 slices of beacon on each fish and drizzle the remaining wine over the top. Bake until the fish easily flakes when pierced with a fork (45-50 minutes). It it browns too quickly, cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve hot with the pan juices drizzled over all.

Serves 4


  • by Chef Melissa
  • February 25, 2009
  • 7:30 pm


Picture of Liza Liza said on...
03.05.09 at 07:24 PM |

MMmmmm so delicious! You guys have to try this smile

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
03.12.09 at 10:45 AM |

Thank you Liza! This is indeed a very delicious dish! Enjoy smile

Picture of Food Guides Food Guides said on...
03.13.09 at 03:30 PM |

Ummmm! What a Delicious dish! Wow, I really liked it. I can’t wait to try it out!

Picture of Dawn Smith .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
03.21.09 at 05:22 PM |

wow…this dish looks really great…mouthwatering..cool picture….thanks for the recipe…gonna try it soon….uphere i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients. Nevertheless i found a great resource http://www.myethnicworld.com where my search ends.

Picture of Sibely Mercia Vieira Sibely Mercia Vieira said on...
03.28.09 at 03:25 PM |

Hola Melissa!!!

Mui bueno tu sitio de coccina. Tener recetas excelentes!!! Estas todo mui lindo!!! Despues mira mi sitio tanbien!!!

Salludos de Brasil,

Sibely Mercia Vieira


Picture of Ravisingh Ravisingh said on...
03.31.09 at 09:50 AM |

Thanks for sharing this great article

Picture of Alpine Blue Sky Alpine Blue Sky said on...
04.01.09 at 07:02 AM |

It sounds excellent, thank you!

Picture of Melly Melly said on...
04.07.09 at 07:51 PM |

Wow…I love the photos!  The fish recipe is incredible..and bacon goes with everything..right?

Picture of Mellisa Nielworth .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
04.08.09 at 09:39 PM |

That looks great! i hope my family likes it when i make it tonight!

Picture of Marco Marco said on...
07.03.09 at 03:18 AM |

Hmmm..this dish is delicious, I will try make it at home !

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