Baked Wolffish

Baked Wolffish

As I sat down to write this post about the wolffish, I set out to do my research and to my great sadness and disappointment, I discovered that Atlantic Wolffish is on the list of critically endangered species. Apparently it has been over-fished. So my conscience can not allow me to buy it any longer. A while ago we had been gifted a box of frozen wolffish fillets from Møre Starfish Norway and I usually make it for special occasions, so this recipe has been staying in drafts for some time, but I have decided to post it now as my first and last wolffish recipe.

frozen wolffish fillets

Wolffish is famous for its big teeth. It feeds on crustaceans and its name in Norwegian is Steinbit, which directly translated would be “stone bite”. This is how it looks like in the wild. I think it’s kinda cute.

atlantic wolffish

It is one of my favorite types of fish and it is a pity that is has been over fished. As I wrote before, I wasn’t sure if I even should post this recipe, since we decided to stop eating it, but it is there, all pictured and prepped, so it would be a waste not to publish it. Besides, this way of marinading and baking would be suitable for any “meaty” fish, such as monkfish.

Wolffish is easy to bake, but it shrinks quite a bit, due to high fat content that will come out of under skin membrane during cooking. Here, I make it two different ways for two different occasions. One is with herbs and fennel and another is in citrus marinade. Both are great, but the citrus one is more popular with children and the fennel and herb one is great with white wine. I love using blood orange or red grapefruit for the citrus marinade to make it pink, but the juice of common orange will work as well. I also love to use Norwegian fish spice blends, as you can see on images below, it consists of a variety of spices. I’m pretty sure such spice blends could be found in other countries and cuisines. Typically it would contain salt, dry dill, mustard seeds, black and white peppers and some other herbs. Sometimes chili flakes, like mine here. Wolf fish has a very distinct taste, so I find it better served with simply cooked vegetables.

wolffish in citrus marinade

wolffish in herb and fennel marinade

Baked Atlantic Wolffish.

Here is my two favorite marinades for wolffish. Both are great, but the citrus one is more popular with toddlers and the fennel and herb one is great with white wine.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Servings: 4
Author: Elvira
Ingredients
  • 4 frozen wolffish fillets
For the citrus marinade
  • juice of one lime and one blood orange (or half of red grapefruit)
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil (I use grapeseed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • generous sprinkle of fish spice blend (or salt and pepper)
For herb and fennel marinade
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 small fennel bulb with fronds, washed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves washed, separated and finally chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp white wine (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil (I use grapeseed)
  • generous sprinkle of fish spice blend
Instructions
  1. Defrost fish fillets at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. When defrosted, squeeze out as much liquids as possible and pat dry. Don't worry, fish won't be dry due to marinade and high fat content in under skin layer. 

    frozen wolffish fillets
  2. Prepare the marinade of choice by combining all liquids together.

  3. Pour the marinade at the bottom of baking dish, place the fish in and rotate, to ensure it has a bit of marinade on all sides. Add bay leaves, chopped herbs and sprinkle with spice.

  4. For fennel marinade, slice the bulb vertically in few slices and arrange between fillets. Chop the fronds and sprinkle around. They will become crispy when done.

  5. Let the fish to marinade in refrigerator for an hour, or more if you have time.

  6. When ready, bake the fish at 200C for 20 minutes. It should shrink and be opaque when done.

  7. Serve with simply cooked vegetables and a glass of wine or beer.

 

 



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