It’s scary to consider cooking a whole fish because we’re used to perfectly cleaned and cut fillets from the grocery store. If you’ve considered getting a whole fish, it’s difficult to figure out where to start. Armed with a few tips however, and cooking a whole fish becomes second nature.
Fish are best bought at the seafood counter or a farmers market. You pick out a fish, ask the butches to clean, gut, and butterfly the fish, then you’re ready to go. A half pound fish is good for a light meal for two people. A 1 pound fish will be plenty for two people for dinner. As the fish increases in size, there is a greater proportion of meat. A four pound fish would be enough for 8 people, or 4 people for dinner then leftovers for a day or two.
In San Francisco, we were lucky to have a farmers market at the Ferry Building, which has fish caught the same day from Monterrey Bay, at a reasonable price. Chinatowns also has live fish.