Reach for the Light


Grilled Fish Recipe

a slice of grilled fish and lime on a square ceramic plate

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

by Zubaida Hussain

One of my favourite fish preparations is whole grilled fish since it has a beautiful smokey flavour, crispy skin, and moist, soft chunks of fish that you can adjust to your tastes. You can use this recipe as an excellent starting point for preparing your fish and choosing the flavours and herbs to use.

Picking your fish (have the fishmongers clean it up at the store), choosing your herbs and flavour infusers, stuffing your fish, and grilling over a fire or coals are all you need to do.

I utilised a number of different herbs and spices I had at home for this barbecue fish dish. 

Here are some of my favorites ingredients to marinate the fish:


  1. Fish 1 kg (put two tsp of salt on the fish and after 15 minutes wash it thoroughly with water)
  2. Salt ½ tsp
  3. Red chili powder ½ tsp
  4. Green coriander 1 cup chopped
  5. Garlic cloves 2-3
  6. Ginger paste 1tsp
  7. Lemon juice ½ cup
  8. Oil or Ghee 2 tbsp

Method for Grilled Fish

barbecue bbq beef chicken
Photo by Pixabay on
  1. Grind garlic, coriander, ginger paste lemon juice, salt and red chili into a smooth paste and spread this paste evenly on the fish. Leave it for 3-4 hours.
  2. Thoroughly clean your grill grates and oil them before cooking the fish. This will help prevent skin from sticking too much on the grates. 
  3. Don’t forget to also oil your fish
  4. Place the fish directly onto the grill and sit tight (don’t try to move the fish around before it crisps and cooks or you’ll end up breaking the skin). Each side takes about 6-8 minutes with the bbq. Once the first side crisps and is easier to lift, you can carefully turn it over. Fish grilling tongs are easily available in the market; one can use anyone of it.
  5. If you are using coal grill instead of gas then be careful and have the coals ready before putting the tongs on the grill, otherwise it will get smoky.
  6. When fish is cooked on both sides serve it with green chutney (see recipe here), or tomato chutney (see recipe here).
  7. It could be served as an independent dish or with flat bread (see recipe here)
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