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Baked carp with crispy skin

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Lusatian fish recipe

Lusatian fish recipe

Franzi © UNESCO Heath and Pond Landscape Biosphere Reserve Torsten Kellermann

Baked carp with crispy skin

If carp, then we had baked carp at home.

From the oven, with a crispy skin thanks to flour and lots of butter.

Served with the obligatory boiled potato and lettuce. A family feast.

Nowadays, many people no longer dare to try a whole fish and yet it is so easy. A second positive aspect is that the unloved bones come out of a whole fish much more easily. The fish meat literally falls off the bones. So take courage and go for it. Here is my recipe, a mixture of traditional and modern. Stuffed with vegetables and spices, it's just a little more contemporary and even tastier.


  • 1 carp, not too small
  • 150g melted butter
  • 500g soup vegetables fresh or a large handful each of carrot/leek/celery.
  • approx. 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • approx. 2-3 tablespoons oil to grease the baking tray
  • 2 large apples - 1 lemon to prepare - 1 lemon in wedges to eat.
  • 2 bay leaves/3 allspice seeds/2 stalks tarragon or parsley
  • salt & pepper  / 250 ml water


Take a deep baking tray or a suitable dish and grease it generously with oil. Cut the washed vegetables into medium-sized cubes and slices. Grate the zest off the lemon and squeeze the lemon.

Wash the carp and remove the gills. Rub the lemon juice into the abdominal cavity. Now season it well inside and out with salt, pepper and lemon zest. I place the parsley or tarragon stalks in the abdominal cavity. Add a large apple and any chopped vegetables. Place the fish in the middle of the tray.

The function of the apple: It should support the fish so that it doesn't fall over. Do the same with a cup.

Place the rest of the vegetables and the second apple around the fish. Now take a sieve and flour the sides of the carp. This is exactly what we need for  a nice crust. Now pour the water to the side and place the bay leaf and allspice leaves under the vegetables. Bake in a fan oven at 180 degrees for approx.

25 minutes in the oven. Then: the flour should have a light brown color, open the oven and baste the fish with half of the melted butter. After about 15 more minutes, baste a second time with the rest. Now it depends on your oven. The fish is good when the top fin pulls easily and the skin is crispy, sometimes I give the last 5-10 min more heat (200 degrees). The surrounding vegetables should only be slightly brown, sometimes  I have to take them out earlier.

Why can't I be more precise? Every oven is different, the size and quantity are different, the cut size of the vegetables is different. But with a bit of judgment, you can do it.

Our carp is ready to serve, I always put the whole tray out. A feast for the eyes and it smells sooo good.

The vegetables and the butter around them are the side dish and sauce alongside the boiled potatoes. Remove the vegetables from the front first.

Then cut into the top of the back with a knife and use the knife and a spatula to carefully drop the fish meat to the front.

It sounds much more complicated than it is. Now all I can say is bon appétit.

A few tips on the side, of course:

You can also supplement the vegetables described with fennel, a delicious vegetable to accompany fish. If you want more vegetables  around it, simply adjust the quantity. Another option is to add small or halved medium-sized potatoes to the tray, which will save you time.

Tarragon is the perfect fish spice for stuffing and white fish sauces. Allspice and bay leaf give the sauce flavor, alternatively add a little granulated vegetable stock to the 250 ml of water.

Everything I have described here also applies to other whole fish, only the cooking time changes.

Enjoy your meal!
Yours, Carola Arnold from the Kleenen Schänke

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