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19 responses to “Simple Grilled Fish with Basil”

  1. Niki

    This sounds awesome – I LOVE grilled fish! Grilling whole fish is really intimidating to me though!!

  2. Tyler

    Do you not scale the fish prior to cooking it? I was always taught to scale them if we were leaving the skin on. Otherwise I skin all my fish.

  3. Craig

    You mentioned that you often cook yellow perch whole. I’ve never heard of this in my life! I am an avid perch fisherman and we always filet them (even the small ones). Do you scale/gut/remove gills same as the cod recipe?

  4. Andrew

    By black and olive, are you talking the mid-water black and green “bass” or bombers; technically yellowtail and dusky rockfish?

    If so, in B.C. I found that smaller bombers (like around and under 1 foot) had a lot smaller ribcage, probably due to a more variable swim bladder — I’ve caught them on the surface and down 200 feet — and a lot larger fillet. They were the prime sandwich fish. I take the fillets and roll them in cornmeal and pepper and fry them up as a sandwich fillet; just perfect.

    You’re totally right regards each species having it’s own niche for cooking. I find cabezone to be a marinate and grill fillet/chunk fish; boccacia/bombers are the best for fried; yelloweye/copper/vermillion/china are for baking and flaking into pasta etc. Greenling et al are best made into salt cod; dogfish into mash for fish patties; ling are a deep fry.

    But then when you say that everyone says you’re crazy…

  5. Heather

    You can also rub the grill with a cut raw potato, I’ve heard (thanks, Martha Stewart!), to prevent the fish from sticking to the grill.

    I have cut my hand on rock cod dorsal fins before. Not pretty. Though to be fair, I have also cut my hand on a frozen chicken breast…

  6. Ben Caplan

    I am going to grille a 3lb – 18″, Yellow Pike over charcoal this evening. This is my first attempt. I was watching the food channel a week ago and they said never salt or oil the whole fish. They said that this tends to draw out the moisture in the fish during the grilling process. Comments?

  7. Krystal

    Thanks for another great instructional article. After pulling in a few nice sized Croakers over the weekend, we gave this a go. Stuffed them with lemons and herbs. I’ll never throw back or cook these fish another way again! It’s time to buy a scaler. Any recommendations on the easiest type to use?

  8. jason

    Thx Hank.
    I never have the intestinal fortitude to grill my whole fish. I know the the technique, still never do it. After reading your post, i decided to give it a go. 1.5lb South Florida mangrove snapper with some ground fennel seed and lemon slices in the cavity came out perfect. Thanks again.

  9. Mitch

    How do you feel about grilling a 3 lb sheepshead? Its about an inch bigger than what you reccomend but theyre a pretty thick hearty fish (diet of shellfish). If youve never had one of them I highly suggest it, great taste, and im glad someone else eats fish tails besides me haha.

  10. Mark

    I caught several nice crappie yesterday and kept a couple of 1.5# whole to try. Any suggestions for Crappie? Was thinking of an Asian flair with lemongrass, cilantro and ginger in cavity.

  11. Anna Smith Clark

    A neighbor just brought me two red tailed Perch. Both had about twenty baby fish in the bellies. Can you do any thing with these or toss? Thanks.

  12. What's the best Stripped Bass recipe???

    […] How to Grill a Whole Fish – Grilled Whole Fish Recipe | Hunter Angler Gardener Cook I've done this with striper before and if you're not looking to deep fry anything, it's a great recipe. Just scale your fish, cut the gills out, score it by cutting 4 or 5 shallow lines down the body on each side, then drench it in olive oil and throw some salt and pepper on it. Barbecue for about 10 minutes on either side or until done for that big fish you got. Or brine that guy up and smoke him. Smoked striper is to die for in my opinion. Or as Sgs1 said, batter up some fillets and deep fry for traditional fish and chips. […]

  13. Leslie

    I love to cook, since I live in Mexico I usually buy Red snapper or Pargo which is the big Red Snapper. I’m kinda afraid that it might stick to the grill even if I oil it, so I was wondering about putting down some tin foil, what do you think?
    Thank you

  14. Jim

    Can you grill Talapia the same way (whole fish)?

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