We’re always told we need to eat more fish, and to my mind there really is no better way to cook a whole fish than grilling it over a screaming hot fire with really simple flavours.
The smell of beautifully fresh fish, grilled over live fire, transports me immediately to sun-soaked family holidays spent in Menorca as a child. We went every year from when I was a baby. I loved it and have so many great memories of time spent with my parents and brother.
I was recently fortunate enough to be given a wonderfully fresh rainbow trout by a friend of ours (the joys of being part of the hunting and fishing community), and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was destined for the BBQ.
I kept it really, really simple and stuffed the cavity of the trout with loads of fresh parsley, lemon slices, salt and pepper. The fish was just over a kilo in weight, so I knew it would take a little longer than say mackerel for instance, so I set my BBQ up for indirect cooking, with the lit coals covering one half of the charcoal grate. That way once the trout had had some time grilling directly over the coals I could pop it away from the heat, lid on the BBQ, to finish it off.
I oiled the outside of the trout and oiled the bars of my cooking grate with some kitchen paper dipped in vegetable oil in order to prevent sticking. I then simply laid the trout directly over the hot coals for 5 minutes per side.
Most fish will be cooked after this time, my trout was pretty big, so once it’d had it’s time over the coals I carefully moved it to the cooler side of the grill, popped the lid on the BBQ and gave it a further 5 minutes until the fish was cooked through but still juicy.
I served it up with some simple roasted vegetables and fresh lemon wedges for squeezing over the fish. It was so delicious!
Try grilling fresh mackerel with chilli, lime and garlic and experiment by making some slashes in the outside of the fish and massaging with curry pastes or spice rubs. Fish is such a great canvas for so many wonderful flavours, and cooking them on the BBQ only improves that.