Grilled Whole Fish
1 pound of whole fish per person, well scaled and cleaned (scored-optional)
herbed sea salt (sold at Dirk's)
lemon slices- optional
Rub fish with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest and herbed sea salt. if you wish you can fill the belly cavity with lemon slices, garlic and fresh herbs for more flavor. Leave the fish at room temperature at least 1 hour.
If you want to score your fish (vertical slices on the fish), just ask us to do it for you. You can put thin slices of garlic and lemon in the cuts, it will give you a bit more flavor. I like mine left whole because it stays moist and is easier to flip on the grill. Add flavor with a sauce or topping at the table. This is the method for a small fish. Larger fish take more time on the grill with the lid on at a lower heat. It is important to flip your fish after a couple of minutes to maintain a crispy skin and prevent sticking. Prepare a medium hot grill. Place your fish on grill with tongs and cook for about 3 minutes, flip over to other side, cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the fish again, close the lid on the grill for about 5 minutes. Repeat for other side and remove fish from grill. Remember that a fresh fish can be eaten raw and it is better to cook it a little less than more. If you feel your fish needs more time to cook but is close, remove it from the grill and let it finish off the grill where it will continue to cook.The skin should be charred and crispy and the meat tender and flaky. Work from the back of the fish towards the belly when taking the meat off the bone. Keep an eye out for the smaller rib bones. It's a little messy but well worth it for the taste! (For sardines, check out the detailed recipe on our recipe page.)
Enjoy your fish and your new cooking skills!