Whole-Roasted Fish with Gullah Country Moppin’ Sauce

Asha Gomez

The Third Space, Atlanta

"One afternoon my friend Sid Feagin delivered a sample of his amazing product, Gullah Gravy Low Country Moppin’ Sauce, and asked me to play around with it. To the uninitiated, mop sauce is a thin liquid used to baste a food cooking over low heat for long periods of time. During cooking, food is literally “mopped” with this sauce to prevent it from drying out and to enhance flavor. The mop sauce is sometimes served at the table as well." —JBF Boot Camp Alum Asha Gomez


Gullah Country Moppin’ Sauce: (makes 2 quarts)

  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • One 8-ounce can tomato juice
  • Five 1/4-inch-wide paper-thin slices of lemon rind (only the yellow rind, not the white pith)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce

Whole Roasted Fish with Gullah Country Moppin’ Sauce:

  • Three 1 1/2 pound dressed trouts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 lemons, each sliced into 4 rings
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup Gullah Country Moppin’ Sauce (store-bought or homemade)


Make the Gullah Country Moppin’ Sauce: whisk the ingredients together in a sauce pot over medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. Store this mopping sauce refrigerated in a jar for up to six months.

Make the trout: preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat the fish dry inside and out with paper towels. Make 3 diagonal cuts through the skin on each side of the fish and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Generously and evenly pour the olive oil over the fish. Season the fish inside and out with the cayenne pepper (or paprika), garlic powder, salt, and turmeric. Gently stuff the thyme sprigs and lemon rings into the fish’s belly. Scatter the tomatoes in the pan and pour the Gullah Country Moppin’ Sauce over the fish.

Roast the fish for 25 to 30 minutes, basting every 8 to 10 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140°F. Remove the fish from the oven and serve immediately. 


Adapted from My Two Souths (Running Press, 2016


6 servings