How to Cook an Entire Corvina Fish


There are many members of the corvina family harvested in waters around the world. Often called drum or croakers, for the distinctive sounds they make, corvinas are shallow-water predators with a predilection for crustaceans, especially small crabs and shrimp. This gives their flesh a delicate pink hue when raw, though it whitens when cooked. Corvina are especially popular on the West Coast, from California down through South America. They may be filleted or cooked whole.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 large corvina
  • Cutting board
  • Boning knife
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herbs and seasonings as desired
  • Scale the fish carefully with your boning knife. Wipe away the majority of the scales with paper towel, then rinse the fish under cold running water to wash away any remaining scales.

  • Trim away the fins, if desired, for a neater appearance. If you have purchased your corvina with the head on, you can remove it or leave it on. It is an aesthetic decision, not a culinary one.

  • Dress the fish, if it was not purchased in a ready-to-cook condition, by opening up the belly from the sphincter to the gills with the tip of your knife. Remove the entrails, and rinse the cavity.

  • Lay the whole fish on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season the skin and inner cavity with salt and pepper. Any additional spices, herbs or seasonings should be added at this point, either stuffed into the cavity or rubbed onto the skin. Mediterranean or South American flavors are especially appropriate with this fish.

  • Place the sheet pan in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The corvina is cooked when there is only a hint of pink left in the thickest part of the flesh.

  • Serve the entire fish on a large platter or use a fish server to lift portions off the bone and plate them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Indirect heat can also be used to cook corvina on your grill. Heat only one side of the grill, and lightly oil the fish. Place it on the unheated side of the grill, close the lid and cook until done. Transfer to the heated side of the grill and cook very hot for an additional minute on each side to crisp the skin.
  • Clean and sanitize any surfaces or utensils that have come into contact with the uncooked fish.

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