Gurnard is not a well-known choice for most home cooks, but the truth is it should be. Gurnard is a great alternative to the other common fish choices such as cod or haddock as it is far more sustainable and, in our opinion, it tastes miles better as well.. 
In this recipe we have stuffed and baked our gurnard, much as you would with cod loin. However, gurnard can be used in a whole host of recipes as a sustainable alternative. From fish fingers to fish pie and even dunked in batter, this fish can take it all. 
Gurnard is a lean, firm, white-fleshed, prehistoric looking fish found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans. Despite its odd appearance, gurnard is tasty and full of firm meat which holds well together during cooking. It also has the health benefits of white fish, i.e. high protein, vitamin rich and low in fat. Gurnards live on the seabed and use their fins to find the crab, fish and shrimps that live in the sediment. 
Gurnard generally work well in any recipe calling for firm-fleshed white fish such as haddock or monkfish: roasting, stewing, barbecuing, pan-frying or deep-frying will all do the job nicely. Gurnard is excellent in a fish curry and the head and bones make a good fish stock. 


Serves 4 
4 red gurnard, gutted 
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 glass white wine 
For the stuffing: 
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped 
1 rasher streaky bacon, rind removed and chopped small 
Little olive oil 
1 egg 
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs 
Little fresh or dried thyme, finely chopped 
Small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
Juice of 1 lime 
Rock salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Stuffing your gurnard 

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan 
Make sure your fish is clean and if wanted, remove the head as per your preference. 
To make the stuffing, fry the bacon gently in a heavy pan with the onion and oil until the onion is soft but not brown. 
Mix the egg, breadcrumbs, bacon mix, thyme, parsley and lime juice to make a moist mixture, adding more oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. 
Fill the fish with the stuffing mix; you shouldn’t need to secure the fish/stuffing but if needed a toothpick on each side of the fish can help hold it together. 
Put the sliced onion on the base of a lightly oiled casserole or baking dish. Arrange the gurnard on top and pour in the wine. 
Brush the fish with wine and bake for 25–30 mins. 

Serving your gurnard 

8. Serve with boiled new potatoes and spinach for a healthy and easy fish dinner. 
Tagged as: gurnard
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