Simple BBQ Whole Fish

Whole Tarakihi recipe

Whole fish shouldn’t be intimidating, they can be very easy to cook. They’re also super affordable and often about a third of the price of their equivalent fillet. Follow these simple steps to BBQ whole fish. All you need is salt and pepper, fresh herbs, lemon and some seasoning. You’ll need to scale your fish first, or use whole Gurnard as they have no scales
(just remember to cook them belly down).

Use: Whole Tarakihi, Gurnard, Moki or Warehou.
  • Pre-heat your BBQ to a medium-high heat, and use the hood if you have one.
  • Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Score the flesh of the fish on both sides, about 1cm deep and at even intervals
  • Place some fresh herbs and sliced lemon in the cavity of the fish (I used coriander).
  • Rub a seasoning of your choice into the slits on both sides of the fish (I used some Wild Fennel White Fish seasoning) and season well with flaky sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  • Place a large piece of baking paper on top of a piece of tin foil. Place your fish on top and seal it up like a parcel.
  • Pop your fish onto the BBQ. If you’ve got a hood, cook the fish with it closed. If you don’t, pop a metal baking dish or similar on top of the fish (watch, as it will get hot).
  • Fish is cooked when it’s opaque, has lost its translucence, and the flesh flakes off the bone. The larger your fish, the longer it will take.
  • I checked these medium-sized Tarakihi after 15 minutes, and they took a bit more than 20 minutes to cook through.
  • Remove from the BBQ, and unseal your parcels as soon as you think it’s done. Otherwise it will keep cooking inside the foil parcels.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over your fish, serve with sides of your choice and enjoy!

Recipe by Jana from The Macpherson Diaries.