My Uncle’s Cilantro Whitefish Recipe


One fish, two fish
Whitefish, Cooked fish

Large family gatherings typically make for a delicious meal, no matter the occasion. What’s a typical family-filled day? Solving puzzles, playing bananagrams, building an edible gingerbread house, you name it! By the time the sun goes down we’re ready to devour a delicious plate of home-made pasta dinner: fresh herbs and vegetables, a multitude of flavors, and a sprinkle of “luv”.  So when I say this meal is inspired from my uncle’s recipe, it means 1. simple, 2. surprisingly delicious, 3. fills you up in a good way.


Ingredients for sauce and fishbed, minus the garlic

These two fishies were destined to end up on a BBQ. However it is currently winter in Vancouver, or as I like to call it “the season of endless rainy spring before spring”, and I don’t have the courage to setup my roommate’s tiny BBQ on the balcony. I prepared the two fish to live their last moments in my oven.


Ready to go in the oven, with the Adidas strips

There are two secrets to this recipe: cilantro “pesto” to keep the fish moist and chopped onion for the fish ‘s deathbed. I decided to served it with steamed rice and reserve some extra sauce to pour over the little mountain of rice on the plate. I should mention the sweet flavor of red onion really comes out during the cooking and ends up being my favorite part of this meal.


Eh voila!


2 small white fish, gutted
1 lemon
A bouquet of cilantro (soaked and rinsed)
1/2 – 1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp salt and black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place all the sauce ingredients (everything but fish and onion) into a food processor for about 30 seconds.

2. Chop up the red onion and place in the bottom of a glass baking dish with the tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure the onion is well covered with oil.

3.  Place the fish in the dish and mark with three incision, “Adidas style” as my uncle calls it. Poor some of the sauce/pesto on the fish and spreading on the onion as well with a basting brush. Keep some of the sauce for the side-dish of rice, couscous or other.

4. Cook the fish for about 20-25 min. To check if it’s ready, press down on the fish with your finger and it should be nice and firm not squishy.

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