Paleo recipe: Whole baked whiting with asparagus, garlic and lemon

Pete Evan's paleo Christmas: Whole-baked whiting recipe.
Pete Evan's paleo Christmas: Whole-baked whiting recipe. Photo: Supplied

This dish is the perfect centrepiece for a summery family feast, or serve it as part of a paleo-friendly Christmas spread.


2 whole whiting (300g-350g each), scaled and gutted*

3 tbsp coconut oil or good quality animal fat, melted 

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

400g (about 3 bunches) asparagus, woody part trimmed and discarded

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley  

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of half a lemon, plus extra wedges to serve 

* ask your fishmonger to prepare this for you


1. Preheat oven to 220C (or 200C fan-forced). Line a shallow-sided baking tray with baking paper.

2. Place the fish on the tray. Drizzle fish with one tablespoon of the coconut oil or fat and rub on both sides to coat evenly. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides.

3. Bake the fish for 10-14 minutes or until just cooked through. 

4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil or fat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and saute for three minutes, then add the garlic and parsley and continue to cook, tossing frequently, for two minutes or until the garlic starts to become golden and the asparagus is just tender.

5. Remove asparagus from heat, then gently toss through the olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

6. When the fish is ready to serve, arrange the asparagus either on the same baking tray the fish was cooked on, or on a large platter. Spoon the remaining garlic dressing from the pan over the fish and asparagus and serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.