Whole Fish Over the Coals
Buy fish that is fresh and in season. Fish frozen at sea and freshly defrosted (once only!) is also acceptable. During the summer months Cape Salmon, kabeljou, yellowtail and hake are freely available. During the winter months look out for snoek. Hake is in season all year round.
YOU WILL NEED
- 1 whole fish ± 2 - 2.5 kg scaled, boned and vlekked with skin on
- Ina Paarman's Lemon & Black Pepper Seasoning
- 1 x 200 ml Ina Paarman’s Lemon & Herb Coat & Cook Sauce
- fresh origanum, fennel or garlic chives for garnish
Select a fish with clear bulbous eyes. Bloodshot sunken eyes are a bad sign in both fish and people! The flesh must have a healthy pinkish hue – grey flesh indicates fish that is old and has been frozen and defrosted more than once.
Ask the fishmonger to scale and “vlek” the fish for you. “Vlekking” means the belly cavity is slit open from head to tail, the spine is filleted out, but the head and tail remain intact.
Salt the fleshy side of the fish with our Lemon & Black Pepper Seasoning, cover the fish, put an ice bag on top and refrigerate it for 30 minutes to firm the flesh.
Prepare a medium hot fire and rub a ribbed iron griddle pan or clamp grid with the cut side of half an onion. This prevents the fish from sticking to the pan or grid.
Brush the fish generously on the fleshy side with the Lemon & Herb Sauce. Place, fleshy side down, on the preheated griddle pan or in the grid over the fire. Baste the skin side with Sauce. Check the fleshy side and as soon as it has browned and is deeply marked with well defined grid marks, it must be turned.
The fish is not turned again – complete cooking with the skin side down to prevent any loss of delicious juices. Baste generously with the Lemon & Herb Sauce throughout the cooking. Test for doneness by pulling the flesh apart at the thickest part of the fish with a fork. As soon as the flesh is white and flaky and no longer opaque and jellyish, the fish is done.
Garnish with fresh herbs. Delicious with grilled lemon slices and a fresh salad dressed with our Creamy Herb or Honey Mustard Dressing.