Barbecues evoke lots of ideas of summer; being outdoors, sunshine if you're lucky and the sweet smoky smell of burgers and chicken on the grill. If like a lot of us, you're wondering how to change it up a bit, fish on the barbecue is a tasty and simple way to do it. From fish skewers to whole stuffed bream, barbecuing fish and seafood is quick and adds something new to outdoor cooking.
Tips for Barbecuing Fish
One of the great things about barbecuing fish is that it doesn't take much time at all and can add some fresh new flavours to outdoor eating. From stuffed whole fish to barbecued prawns, there is something to suit everyone. Here are a few handy tips for barbecuing fish and seafood
- Rubbing a little olive oil on the skin of whole fish can not only add to the flavour, but can also stop your fish from sticking to the grill
- Pick a slightly cooler part of the grill to barbecue your fish. This way you can make sure that the skin doesn't burn and that the fish is gently cooked through. You'll keep all the lovely grilled taste without overwhelming any delicate flavours.
- If you're using fish that is more delicate, you can place the fish on greaseproof paper on top of tin foil and put that directly on the barbecue. This will help stop the fish from breaking up.
- Using gutted whole fish, stuffed with lemon or herbs can bring out delicious flavours. You can also adapt the flavours using a rub of spice or chilli, depending on who you are catering for. Whole fish is also perfect for sharing.
Barbecue Fish Recipe Ideas
You don't need to spend a fortune to have great tasting barbecued fish. Whether you plan on putting swordfish steaks or mackerel fillets on the grill, there's an option for every budget. We also love whole seabream on the barbecue, stuffed with lemon and onion and this BBC Good Food recipe is foolproof. It's topped with garlic and chillies for heat, but it you could easily substitute the chillies for some freshly chopped herbs. A real crowd pleaser.
For a simple mackerel barbecue dish, try out this recipe from Curabinny Cooks in the Irish Examiner; fresh thyme and lemon and you're good to go!
You can never go wrong with salmon on the barbecue. It takes the smokiness of the coals or gas really well and its flavour is never overshadowed.
Fish skewers are perfect for putting on the grill as people arrive to eat. They cook quickly and are great with a punchy side salad of rocket and scallions. We make and sell our own at Nicky's, using prawns, salmon, white fish and some smoked coley for added depth. A nice marinade is key to getting fish skewers right. While wooden skewers need to be soaked for meat kebabs/skewers, you don't need to worry as much with fish as the cooking time is so quick.
Whatever way you choose to barbecue fish, it's a great way to bring a bit of variety to outdoor eating. Your fishmonger will be more than happy to give you advice on cooking and at Nicky's Plaice on the West Pier in Howth, we're always on hand to suggest marinades and cooking techniques.