Italians from Sicily to Venice love to grill seafood. With a few tips you can grill easily and create delicious dishes.
Fish can be tricky to cook and grilling it can frighten even experienced cooks. The grill can bring out the delicate flavors of fish. Here are some basic tips for swimming start to grilling fish.
- Get fresh! If possible buy fish that has never been frozen. This is not always possible. If you have purchased frozen fish defrost it in the refrigerator.
- Start thick. It’s easier to begin your grilling experience with fish steaks rather than thin fillets. Tuna, swordfish, or salmon steaks should be 1” – 1 ½” thick for the best results.
- Check the interior of the fish just before you think it should be done. Gently insert a thin knife blade between the layers of the flesh. If the flesh is opaque and the knife meets no resistance than the fish is cooked.
- Fish continues to cook after you remove it from the grill. Don’t wait for it to be totally cooked before removing the fish.
- If you begin with good fish you won’t need to over season it to give it flavor. When I lived in Vicenza my landlord would grill for us and only brush the fish with a little olive oil and lemon juice before cooking.
- Grill thin fillets (e.g. sole or flounder) on a thin piece of oiled aluminum foil that has been perforated several times with a fork.
- Use a fish basket to hold the fish. This makes it easy to flip the fish. I like to use a fish basket for whole fish such as trout. Be certain to oil the basket before placing the fish inside.
- For vibrant flavors use whichever fresh herbs you desire. I like to use savory, marjoram, sage, parsley, oregano, mint or cilantro are herbs that could be tried.
- Mince any left over fresh herbs and sprinkle them around the fish into the fire. The herbs will burn and create a fragrant smoke for the fish.