I may have mentioned this in the past, but growing up on the islands I never liked fish and I think the same can be said about my brother and sisters (mom had a tough time with us). While I outgrew this, I still think my sisters are not fans of fish to this day. My brother on the other hand, elevated his taste buds.. so it’s not strange to see him at seafood restaurants in New York sitting behind a massive lobster feasting away. While my fav fish dish is my mom’s curry Kingfish, during the summer months this grilled fish is something I do quite often. So as we continue July’s Month Of Grilling, I thought I’d share this herb grilled fish recipe with you.
Large Fish (I used a snapper)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic (crush or chopped fine)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
2 scallions (chopped)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 lemon (slices)
2 sprigs parsley
1/2 medium tomato
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
Important: If doing this recipe gluten free, do pay attention to all the ingredients listed (especially the soy sauce) to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. This marinade will be enough for 3 medium fish or 2 large ones.
Chop, squeeze, slice and grate the ingredients, then place them all in a bowl and give it a good mix. Remember when using scotch bonnet peppers (any hot pepper) to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after (suggest wearing gloves) and don’t include the seeds or white membrane surrounding the seeds if you want to avoid the ‘raw’ heat.
Clean and wash the fish (I like washing with water and either lemon or lime juice) you’re using and pat dry with paper towels. Then make 2 cuts down the thickest part of the belly to help the marinade do it’s thing and to ensure the fish cooks somewhat evenly. Place the fish in a bowl and pour on half the marinade. Work the marinade in the cuts and cavity of the fish. Since there’s lime juice in the marinade, we’ll only allow this to marinate for about 5 minutes or it will start cooking the fish.
As the fish marinates you can go get your fire started. I used a charcoal fire, but this works good on a propane grill as well. You have a couple options for grilling the fish, you can wrap in tin foil or use a fish grilling wire basket -thing (cheap at Walmart). Place 2 slices of the lemon on the inside of the wire basket, then a sprig of parsley and another lemon slice. Now place the marinated fish (try to keep as much marinade on it) and repeat with the slices of lemon and parsley before closing the wire contraption.
Unlike how we did the Drunk Chicken (indirect heat), this time we want the fish directly over the heat source. The slices of lemon will not only add flavor to the fish as it grills, it will help protect it from the direct heat.
The size/thickness and how well-done you like your fish, will determine how log to cook your fish. For me I had it over the direct heat for about 25 minutes in total. Flipping over every 4 minutes or so. The wire basket makes this really simple (once you lock the hinge) and if you want you can use the remaining marinade to baste the fish as it grills. I like adding the marinade near the end, just before I remove the fish off the grill and get ready to serve. That final blast of heat awakens all the flavors of the marinade for a wonderful finish. Make extra marinade and serve as a dipping sauce!
My appreciation for fish only happened after moving away from the islands, where I would have access to fresh out of the ocean goodness. Today I try to shop at fish markets where I know there’s a lot of foot traffic and turnover, so I tell myself I’m getting fresh stuff (as can be expected). You can make this marinade and store it in the fridge for a solid week. You can use any of your favorite fish for this recipe (may be a bit too bold for salmon..but I’m not a fan of salmon). In my case I try to only eat salt water fish as I get a sort of ‘muddy’ taste when I eat lake or river fish. The salt in the marinade was enough for me (with the soy sauce), but you can sprinkle on some sea salt after grilling.. to your liking.