Roast Winter Tailor

“Lunch is ready,” Ed called from inside, pushing open one of the stained glass windows and letting out a wave of tantalising aromas. Roast fish with garlic and ginger mixed with the closer scent of citrus blossom, making Kit’s mouth water.

The type of fish in the story is unspecified, but as it’s the end of winter I’m taking advantage of some fresh, seasonal, seafood and have used tailor. This recipe can be easily adapted for other fish of similar size.


(This recipe uses Australian Standard Measurements)

  • Fish, cleaned and scaled (approx. 640g)IMG_3369
  • 6 cloves of strong Garlic
  • 25g Ginger
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Brown Onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Tea Seed Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200℃.
  2. Make sure that your fish is properly cleaned and scaled. Most fish mongers will do this for you, but I’ve found that they often miss a few scales, typically around the fins and belly.
  3. Pat your fish dry and set aside.
  4. In a large roasting tray pour 1 Tbs. oil, coating the bottom.
  5. Thinly slice the leek and onion and layer the slices in the tray. This will be the bed for your fish.
  6. Peel and roughly chop 15g of ginger, and 4 cloves of garlic to stuff the fish’s cavity. You can bulk this out with chopped green leek tops if the cavity is large.
  7. Add salt and pepper to your stuffing (I use about 3-4 cracks of each) and mix through.
  8. before and afterScore the sides of your fish, twice on either side.
  9. Rub fish with 1/2 Tbs. oil and some more salt and pepper before transferring it to your prepared tray.
  10. Stuff the belly and head cavities with your prepared stuffing, being generous. I don’t stitch the belly closed, so stuffing it in situ is far easier.
  11. Thinly slice the remaining ginger and garlic, and slice the lemon.
  12. Stud the top-side incisions with slices of ginger and garlic, scattering any remaining over the rest of the fish.
  13. Lay slices of lemon across the top of the fish. If there’s any space left in your cavity slide in a few lemon slices there as well.
  14. Roast for 45 minutes, or until cooked. You can tell that a fish is cooked by the flakiness of the flesh, its pale colour, and the skin pulling back from the incisions.
  15. Serve straight away.

Serving Suggestions

IMG_3382Serves: 4 (with sides)

A starch component, such as rice, shares the plate well with this fish. As do salads, mixed greens, and simple veg.

Salt and pepper to taste.