Grilled fish recipes

Jun 1, 2010 at 2:17 p.m. ET

If you are looking for an alternative to cooking meat on the grill this summer, try grilling fish. Most fish works great on the grill and with the right marinade you won’t even miss the meat.

Grilled Fish

Best fish for the grill
Salmon, red snapper, tilapia, halibut, sea bass/striped bass, trout, swordfish, mahi mahi, tuna, catfish, bluefish, sole, flounder, cod

Best cuts for the grill
The best way to grill fish is by choosing an evenly cut steak or a whole fish. They won't fall apart and fall through the grill grates like a filet could. You can grill evenly cut filets, however, by wrapping them in aluminum foil or by using a grill basket.

Cooking time and temperature
Fish should be cooked at a high heat for a few minutes per side. It can easily lose moisture so only place it on the grill for a few minutes depending on thickness of the cut. A 1-inch thick piece of fish should be cooked about 8 minutes total, 4 minutes per side and an additional 8 minutes per every extra inch of thickness. A whole fish will usually take about 10 minutes per inch. You should however keep an eye on your fish just in case it cooks quicker.

Preventing fish from sticking
Fish can easily stick to the grill and cause it to break when you are flipping it or worse, burn the outside. In order to prevent sticking coat the grill with oil or cooking spray or lightly brush oil onto both sides of the fish.

Marinate or no?
Marinating fish before it gets grilled is not necessary, but it of course adds extra flavor. You can grill fish with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and then squeeze lemon juice over it when it's finished and you will have a tasty and healthy fish dish. If you choose to marinate the fish, a thicker cut of fish will benefit greatly because it will help keep it moist. Fresh herbs work great in a simple marinade of olive oil and lemon juice. Keep the marinade light and simple and be sure to let the fish marinate for at least 30 minutes, flipping bag a few times.


Teriyaki Tuna
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4, 4-ounce ahi tuna steaks


1. Combine teriyaki sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a large resealable plastic bag. Season the tuna with a few grinds of pepper and place the tuna in the bag. Seal bag and let marinate in refrigerator for about 30 to 45 minutes.

2. When ready to cook, brush grill grates with oil and heat grill to high heat.

3. Place fish on grill, searing outside. Cook fish 3 to 8 minutes per side depending on how well done you like your tuna. 3 minutes per side will give you rare tuna and 8 minutes per side will give you well done tuna.


Grilled Breaded Tilapia
Serves 4

4, 4-ounce tilapia filets
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 fresh rosemary leaves
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup white wine


1. Preheat grill to high heat.

2. Place tilapia on individual large square pieces of aluminum foil. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Top each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 garlic clove, and 1 piece of rosemary. Divide tomatoes and wine evenly between fish. Wrap fish in a sealed loose bag and place on grill.

4. Grill fish for 10 to 15 minutes or until it easily flakes with a fork.


Grilled whole red snapper
Serves 4

2 whole red snapper, about 1 pound each, scaled and gutted
2 limes, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat grill to high heat.

2. Make a slit in each of the fish on the side to make a pouch. Place lime slices, whole basil leaves, and feta in the pouch.

3. Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Place fish on grill and cook about 6 to 8 minutes per side or until fish is cooked through.


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