Cooking fish on the grill is one of the best ways to enjoy your catch. But, like a lot of good things in life, it can be hard to do. Fish tends to stick to grill grates and break your fillets apart. Here are some tips and grilled fish recipes to help you wow your family and friends. After they taste these, they’ll be firmly in favor of you spending hours on the water.
Tips for Grilling Fish
When you grill fish, leave the skin on. If you don’t, grill it in aluminum foil instead of directly on grill grates or in your grilling basket. Be sure to brush the fish and the grates or foil with plenty of oil. This keeps the fish from flaking and breaking up on the grill. Fish is delicate, and grilling isn’t always the most gentle cooking process. Even if it’s not stated, follow these tips for all three recipes below. If you’re worried about your fish sticking, you can place slices of lemon, tomato, onion, or other vegetable between the fish and the cooking surface.
Grilled Fish Recipes
The grilled fish recipes we have for you are very flexible and will taste great with a few different kinds of fish.
1. Fresh-Grilled Catch of The Day
The first of our three grilled fish recipes is just straight-up grilled fish. Use this on the fresh fish you catch off the lake. This is the recipe for the fish purist. Most grilled fish recipes use a strong marinade or sauce, but this lets the fish be the star of your dinner. You can use this simple approach with whole fish or with fish you’ve cleaned and trimmed. You’ll want to double the amount of salt and pepper for whole fish, and score the skin with fillet knife.
- 1 to 1-1/2 lbs of your favorite fish
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat your grill to medium heat. Make sure the grates are clean and brush them with a bit of the oil. Next, brush each side of your fish with the oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on each side. Lay them on the grill and cook them until the meat is opaque throughout. For salmon, cook the meat until it’s a pale pink. Check the center of the fish with a grill thermometer and make sure it measures at least 145° F. If it checks out, remove the fish from the grill immediately and transfer it to your serving plates. Place a pat of butter on top of each serving of fish and sprinkle the cilantro on top or around it for garnish. Serves 4.
2. Tex-Mex Grilled Fish Tacos
Give your fish some tex-mex flair with the second of our grilled fish recipes. Our cayenne pepper marinade and a red cabbage coleslaw are sure to impress your friends and family. This the only one of our grilled fish recipes that calls for white-meat fish, but don’t be afraid to try it with tuna, salmon, or any other fish you like.
Ingredients – Tacos
- 1-1/2 lbs of tilapia, cod, or halibut
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh lime
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 10 flour or corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 1 freshly chopped onion
Ingredients – Coleslaw
- 6 cups (about 1/2 head) of red cabbage, sliced very thinly
- 1 1/2 (2-3 medium-sized carrots) cups of peeled and grated carrots
- 1/3 cup of freshly chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Use a garlic press to crush the garlic. Next, combine the garlic, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil in a bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the marinade. Stir everything together until it’s well-mixed. Add your fish and toss it until it’s evenly coated. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make your coleslaw (see Coleslaw Directions above) and prep your grill. The grill should be clean and turned up to medium heat. Brush the grates with some oil to keep your fish from sticking. Once the fish has marinated for 30 minutes, lay each piece on the grill and cook them to an internal temp of at least 145° F. While you cook the fish, throw your tortillas on the grill and brown them as well. Be careful, tortillas can burn easily. When the fish and tortillas are done, place a piece of fish an a spoonful of the coleslaw into a tortilla and top with chopped cilantro and onion.
Place the cabbage and carrots in a colander and rinse them with cold water to crisp them up a bit. Let them drain for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the cilantro, vinegar, oil and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cabbage and carrots and toss everything well until the vegetables are evenly coated. Refrigerate the coleslaw until the fish is cooked and ready to serve. Serves 4-5.
3. Grilled Tuna Burgers with Lemon-Lime Mayo
The last of our grilled fish recipes will keep you covered in case you come up empty after your day on the water. You can make a quick detour to the store and use some canned tuna to make delicious grilled tuna burgers. This is probably the most complicated of our grilled fish recipes. That should motivate you to come back with a good catch.
- 3 6-oz cans of tuna, well-drained
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of onion, minced
- 3/4 cup of celery, minced
- 3/4 cup bell pepper, minced (red gives a welcome splash of color)
- 1-1/2 cup of bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup of sour cream
- 2 tbsp of yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup of hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons of dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- 6 Ciabatta rolls
- 2 sliced tomatoes
- 8 Leaves of Romaine lettuce
Lemon-lime Mayonnaise Ingredients
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
- The juice of half a lemon
- The juice of half a lime
Combine the first 12 ingredients in a large bowl and mix them until they’re well-combined. If the mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs. If it’s too dry, add some water or egg white. Once the mixture is about the same consistency as a thick dough, form it into 8 patties. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make your mayo (see Lemon-Lime Mayo Directions above). Set your grill to medium heat. Set a sheet of aluminum foil on the grates and fold the edges, making a lip. Brush the foil with olive oil. Place the burgers on the foil and grill them for 5-8 minutes on each side. Brown your rolls on the grill while you cook the burgers. When the burgers are cooked, place one leaf of lettuce and a slice of tomato on each roll. Top it with a burger and a big dollop of your mayo and enjoy. This is one of those grilled fish recipes that gets you out of a bind.