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Mixed Grilled Fish

This is a real feast of tastes and textures – make sure you use the freshest fish available, and try not to overcook it, as the delicate texture of perfectly cooked fish can turn to dry flakes. We would recommend using whole, small to medium sized “round” fish such as mackerel, sardines, trout, bream and bass, all of which are very sustainable and not too expensive. If you don’t have a charcoal grill, gas works just fine – and you can even roast very small fish under the grill of a hot oven.

Servings vary: allow 2-3 sardines per person, or 1 whole small mackerel each, or half a trout/bass.

1. About an hour before you want to cook light the charcoal grill.
2. About half an hour before you want to cook get the fish out of the fridge and season all over and inside with salt, then rub the outside with oil and stuff the inside with herbs and lemon. Leave out, covered, to come to room temperature.
3. About 10 minutes before you want to cook spread out the hot charcoal embers and place the grill over the top to heat up. Once very hot rub it with a metal brush to clean.
4. The grill is the perfect temperature to cook when you can hold your hand 10cm above it for only 5-10 seconds. Carefully lay on the fish, cross-ways to the direction of the grill’s bars, and leave undisturbed to cook for about 5 minutes (a bit less for very small fish, a little more for very fat fish). Use tongs and/or a fish slice to carefully flip the fish, taking care to keep the skin on the fish, to cook on the other side until you can see that the flesh has all turned opaque (have a poke around). Serve immediately.

• Whole squid are also very good on the grill. Choose small to medium-sized ones. They need to be cleaned first: Cut off the tentacles just above the eyes and reserve. Then pull out the head and all the entrails, which should be attached to the head. Use your hands or the back of a large knife to force out the rest of the insides. If the squid are small, you can grill the body and tentacles like this. If they are medium-sized (with thicker body flesh) it is better to open up the body and score the inside in a fine cross-hatch pattern so that they cook quicker. Either way rub the pieces of squid with olive oil and salt before grilling, and cook on a very hot grill until the squid are opaque and starting to caramelise. The grill must be very hot for squid because if it cooks slowly the flesh will become rubbery.