Martha's Baked Fish


Makes as many servings as you need

  • a headfish large enough to feed your family (see notes)
  • paprika
  • fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few slices of bacon
  • a few Tablespoons of mustard (see notes)

Special equipment



Preheat the oven to 300° while you wash and dry your fish. Season the inside with salt, pepper and paprika.

You’re going to wrap it in mustard, onion and bacons, but we’ll cheat by putting a couple strips of bacon on the bottom of the bacon dish to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan, placing onion slices on top, then dolloping some mustard. Now place the fish on this sauce and reverse the process: spread mustard on the fish, top with onion slices and then place bacon strips on the top. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and lemon juice.

If the fish is large, bake for an hour and turn the oven down to 250° after the first half hour. Cover with foil for the last fifteen minutes if needed.


Typically this dish is made with Porgy, also know as Sea Bream, but we’d think it work with most any headfish. Perhaps even carp.

We like this best with a dijon mustard but the original recipe calls for a horseradish mustard or yellow.

The recipe is a family tradition since the 1950’s that came from a family associate who emigrated from Stuttgart. It feels like a recipe of northern Europe, but we can’t find anything similar in European cookery