Whole grilled red snapper with citrus and herbs is a light and tasty dinner recipe that’s simple and elegant and grilling the fish highlights its delicate flavor.
Just like cooking meat with its bones makes the meat taste better, the same is true for fish. Cooking fish with the bones intact adds load of flavor. What about the head you ask? Well, I suppose it can be a bit off putting having your dinner staring back at you, but don’t forget there’s some good meat in there too. But I suppose I won’t hold it against you if cut that part off before grilling.
Grilled whole red snapper is such an easy way to enjoy this mild tasting fish. Of course you can also use this same preparation on other white fleshed fish like Branzino, Sea Bass, Grouper or Dorado (if you’re lucky enough to be able to find it). The only prep work, on your part, is to source the things that you want to stuff inside the fish to add just that little bit more flavor to the meat.
I chose to keep things really simple for this recipe because I really wanted to be able to taste the red snapper in this recipe. I stuffed my fish full of cilantro, lemon, ginger and gave it a good sprinkling of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. But other things you could use would be orange slices, limes, parsley, tarragon (pairs great with fish), dill, green onions, shallots, red pepper flakes, thyme…I think you get the idea.
The other great thing about this grilled red snapper recipe is that with 5 minutes of prep work and about 30 minutes of cooking is all it takes to have a great dinner on the table for 2-4 people (depending on the size of the fish and how hungry everyone is). Oh, and grilling the fish gives you that extra crispy skin that you just can’t get when you cook fish in the oven. Speaking of cooking fish in the oven…grilling keeps all that stinky fish smell O-U-T-S-I-D-E where it belongs.
So fire up the grill, get to your fish market and pick up a nice big red snapper. Cooking a whole fish is a lot easier than you think and once you do it you’ll be hooked (see what I did there?). 😉
- 1 5 Pound Red Snapper (or other white fleshed fish), scaled
- Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Slices of Lemon
- 4 (quarter sized) Slices of Fresh Ginger
- A Handful of Cilantro
- Olive Oil
- Pre-heat your grill to a medium high temperature.
- Rinse your fish to make sure all of the loose scales are off.
- Lightly salt and pepper the inside and outside of the fish.
- Line the inside of the fish with the lemon and ginger slices.
- Stuff the cilantro into the fish.
- Brush both sides of the fish with the oil (this helps to keep it from sticking to the grill - but you could lightly oil your grill grates too if you like)
- Carefully place the fish on the grill and close the lid.
- After 15 minutes, check to see if the meat has turned opaque (white) on the side that was toward the heat.
- Carefully flip the fish over to cook on the other side.
- Close the lid and check back in 15 minutes.
- If the meat is white all the the through, remove the fish from the grill. If it's still not quite done, let it cook for about 2 more minutes then check on it again. Don't let it go too long or the fish will dry out.
- Let fish stand for 5-10 minutes to cool a bit and to let all the juices settle, then cut into and serve the fish.
- Remember, there are bones in there so watch out for them.
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