This recipe for Whole Flounder Stuffed with Crab and Shrimp is one I developed many years ago on a fishing trip with Mr. Saucy. It has been a favorite in our house ever since. Don’t be intimidated by whole fish, this recipe is simple to prepare; what an incredible presentation for so little effort!
In my Christmas post about our Feast of the Seven Fishes, since I was following the Italian meal structure for a seven course meal, this was the Secondo course (basically, the main course). Contorno is a side dish that is served with the Secondo, and I made roasted root vegetables (tri-color fingerling potatoes and golden beets) to go along with the flounder.
I generally serve this recipe with a classic Béarnaise Sauce. While you would traditionally serve Béarnaise with steak, I prefer the acidic element of the vinegar and the flavor of the tarragon to the lemon acidity of a Hollandaise sauce (which would be fine with this, too).
My fish came from a local fish market, The Shrimp Dock, with three locations in my area. Their fish is incredibly fresh and their service is second-to-none. I buy my flounder pretty much prepared for this recipe (with the exception of butterflying it), so the head and scales are removed. You can get your local fish market to butterfly the flounder for you, I just prefer to do this step myself. It’s not hard at all; using a fillet knife, it’s a simple job. Here’s a video I found that shows you how to do it.
If you buy your flounder already butterflied, all you have to do is prepare the stuffing of crab and shrimp and bake it. How simple is that?
In order to easily remove the whole stuffed flounder to a platter once it’s baked, it is necessary to prepare the baking sheet with either foil or parchment lining and to spray that with cooking spray or butter it.
The stuffing of lump crab meat and shrimp begins with sautéing shallots in butter. To that I add dry vermouth. The butter mixture is then combined with panko crumbs, parsley, egg, a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper, and the crab and shrimp.
Once the stuffing is inserted into the cavity of the butterflied flounder, the fish is baked in a 375°F oven for about 40 minutes (for a 4-5 pound flounder). Removed from the oven, the fish is transferred to a platter and served immediately.
This is a must-try recipe, y’all.
Be sure to check out all of the other Fish Friday Foodie posts submitted in this month’s Whole Fish theme! The links are below!
- 4-5 pound Flounder, head and scales removed, butterflied
- 12 - 20 count shrimp, diced (about 1 cup)
- 8 ounces lump crab meat
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- ⅓ cup dry vermouth (you could substitute a dry white wine)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper
- Fresh lemon slices (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Prepare a baking sheet by covering with foil or parchment paper, spray with cooking spray or butter and set aside.
- In a small skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to melt.
- Add the shallots.
- Sauté for about 4 minutes, or until the shallots soften.
- Add the vermouth and continue to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to melt and remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, crab meat, butter mixture, panko crumbs, egg, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine.
- Place the flounder on the prepared baking sheet.
- Open the flaps on the butterflied flounder and place the stuffing in the center of the fish.
- Close the flaps on the flounder, tuck lemon slices into the opening (optional).
- Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the flounder is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven.
- Using a large spatula, slide the flounder from the baking sheet onto a platter.
- Serve immediately.