Grilling fish on the barbecue can be immensely rewarding, and can be a refreshing change from burgers and sausages. Served whole or as fillets, fish pairs superbly with the smoky, hearty flavour that comes from barbecuing. Since we at Azzopardi Fisheries offer a varied selection of fresh fish in Malta, we thought we’d share some useful tips for barbecuing fish.
Keep the skin on
Fish is much more delicate and flakier than meat, which is a big reason why most prefer to steer clear of it when barbecuing. Instead of removing the skin, leave it on while grilling – this will help to keep the fillet in one place and prevent it from falling apart. Many chefs actually suggest eating the fish with the skin intact instead of removing it after cooking – it leaves a delicious crispy texture, especially with mackerel or trout.
Prep the BBQ before grilling
The last thing you want is for the fish to stick to the grill, while you stand there awkwardly in front of your guests doing your best to scrape it off as they wait hungrily in the background. Make sure it’s piping hot beforehand, and that you have greased the BBQ with rag or vegetable oil as a preventative measure. When you place the fish on the grill, leave the skin-side facing down.
Wrap it in newspaper
This technique not only adds more flavour, but it also keeps the fish juicy and soft. Wrap the fish in several layers of paper, tie it together to form a package and then allow it to soak in water for a while before grilling.
A marinade can make all the difference
The great thing about grilling fish is that there are so many different herbs, spices and oils that pair well with it. Before placing the fish on the BBQ, we recommend soaking it in a marinade of your choice for about 20 minutes in the fridge. Salt and pepper should be added afterwards.
Use a fish (or grill) basket
Flipping fish on a grill can be a tricky and difficult process; many cooks advise not doing it at all if your fillet isn’t thick or meaty enough. Instead, consider investing in a fish basket. This is a valuable tool that makes it easy for you turn the fish over by flipping the basket instead, keeping it from breaking into pieces. Fish baskets come in all shapes and sizes – mostly oval, square and rectangular.
With summer fast approaching, we’re sure that most of you foodies out there have already brought out the BBQs and sent out the Facebook invites to your first big summer shindig. Visit Azzopardi Fisheries in St. Paul’s Bay and help yourself to our wide range of fresh fish in Malta – and if any of you have any tips for barbecuing fish, let us know in the comments!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news.