SV BBQFish 960x300

Fishing is one of the most relaxing pastimes, something I regularly do off the rocks between Slade and Hook Head, gazing out to the horizon and inhaling the lovely sea air.

Sometimes I don’t catch a thing but it’s not all about that, it’s still a great day! It’s a lovely way to spend time away from the kitchen, out in the open. If I’m lucky enough to land a few fish then it’s home to fire up the barbecue. I love the flavour of barbecued food and that includes fish.

 Kevin Dundon Fishing

When I’m choosing a fish to grill it’s important to consider how firm the fish is, how will it withstand the heat? I prefer a more meaty and hearty fish, like salmon, that won’t break apart or fall through the grates while cooking. More delicate fish like sole and plaice are just not suitable for barbecuing directly on the grill, so if you want to use these fish it’s best to cook them in oiled foil, protected from the heat and the open flame. Alternatively you can cook thin fillets or smaller fish on the specially shaped long-handled wire grill racks, available in most DIY stores.

To get the best results every time when barbecuing fish and seafood, here are my top tips:

  • You need a hot grill as fish needs to cook quickly to retain the flavour and juices, so preheat the barbecue before cooking. If using a charcoal barbecue, ensure a light layer of ash is on the coals.
  • It is vital the barbecue grill/rack is clean before grilling otherwise the fish will stick to it and make if difficult to turn. Oil it well just before cooking using a clean cloth dipped in oil or a pastry brush, and oil the fish too.
  • Avoid marinades and glazes with a high sugar content, particularly for chunkier pieces of fish, as the marinade can become burnt and bitter by the time the fillet is cooked.
  • Skin up or skin-side down? I prefer to cook skin side down, leaving it until a slight crust forms before turning it over. If you move the fish around continuously it will fall apart, and pieces will fall through the grill.
  • Use a wide thin spatula or palette knife between the skin and the grill to turn the fish. Using two of them makes it easier to flip the fish, particularly when cooking a large piece or whole fish.
  • Fish like salmon are cooked when they start to flake and is still slightly opaque in the centre. Remove from the barbecue when you feel it’s ready, you can always return it to cook further, but you can’t undo overdone.

Teryiaki Glazed Salmon

Grilled fish is a delight and another way I like to cook it is in foil parcels. Similar to the cod en papilotte recipe, but barbecued instead of baked. Basically get a sheet of tin foil, place some mange tout, thinly sliced carrots, onions, mushrooms onto the foil and top with a piece of fish, add a dash or wine or stock, wrap it well to prevent any leaks, and pop it on the barbecue – what could be simpler? Fairly thick pieces of salmon, cod and haddock work best for this as it takes a while for the accompanying vegetables to cook with the fish and my red pepper jelly recipe is a lovely accompaniment.

And now a general guide to grilling times. If the fish is about ½ an inch in thickness, cook it for three minutes on one side, then flip it for two minutes on the other side. Measure the fish at the thickest part though!

Discover more wonderful recipes, including grilled marinated mackerel and many more by searching our recipes. So get your friends and family round, make the most out of the barbecue this summer and don’t forget to share your recipes too! #goodfoodkarma


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