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Grilled Fish – Scrumptious summer food

Posted on January 25, 2010 by in seafood

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Grilled fish, grilled chicken, grilled steak… might think Nina is totally lost it and that this blog will never return to what it was. Well, this site is all about making cooking “easy” and simple and grilling is one of the easiest and most delicious ways of cooking.
With summer  temperatures soaring in the high thirties, grilling is also the  quickest way to cook and therefore you will spend less time in the boiling hot kitchen. Grilling outdoors is of course ideal, but for you guys in the Northern part of the world, a griddle pan or even the oven is also good.

In my last couple of posts, I have covered grilled chicken and grilled steak so I thought I will finish my grilling theme off by posted about grilled fish.

When making grilled fish, there are also a few guidelines that will help you get perfect results.
The flesh should be firm so that when pressed with your finger, it doesn’t leave an indentation or mark.
– The eyes should be clear and plump, not cloudy, dull or sunken.
– The fish should NOT have a fishy smell, but rather that of seaweed or fresh seawater and the gills must be bright red.
– heat the grill first and then oil lightly – this helps to combat sticking and is ideal to get the perfect grilling marks.
– turn the fish only once
-when the meat inside the cavity is no longer translucent, the fish is cooked.

Cooking times – these are just guidelines – use your own judgment…. 

Small whole fish – 7 minutes on each side. If stuffed, cook a little longer

Large whole fish  15 minutes per side. Longer if it is very big or stuffed

Thick Fillets about 6 minutes per side. Trout fillets may only need 4 minutes per side.

Steaks – about 5 minutes per side.


Sometimes Lady Luck just smiles on you  and you find the unexpected. Imagine walking through your Fruit and Veg store and find a crate full of fresh mullets right there in front of you. I think those little babies were still swimming that morning, but I knew where they where destined to be that night…..grilled to perfection on a plate. Simple, scrumptious summer food. 

Mullets or harders as we call them here in South Africa carries the Green color on the SASSI list, which means in layman’s terms, it is OK to eat. Sometimes these mullets or harders are dried and cured  and then we refer to them as “bokkems” (Pronounce: Bok-kums). 

I had other plan for my little fish……

Grilled fish – Bacon Wrapped Mullets


about 2 small fish per person
fresh dill
lemon juice
streaky bacon – 1 slice per fish

Take a sharp knife and cut the fish open on the belly side and remove the inside. Wash and clean the inside of the fish and stuff with a little fresh dill. Repeat with all the other fish. Season with salt and pepper and wrap the streaky bacon around the fish – around the belly area.
Heat the grill and lightly oil. Lay  your fish on the grill and let it cook for about 6 minutes. Turn over and do the same. If the fish is stuck to the grill, wait a few seconds and try again. Try and  not fiddle with the fish, it will break especially if they are small like these little mullets. While grilling squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish.

Serve a stack of these babies on a platter in the middle of the table and see how your guests tuck in….fingers and all!!!

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25 Responses to “Grilled Fish – Scrumptious summer food”

  1. Marisa 25 January 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Lovely! Why do I never find such gems in the Fruit & Veg?

  2. Junglefrog 25 January 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    Well they do look incredibly fresh! All your grilling posts make it hard for me here to concentrate on doing winter dishes!! I want summer now!

  3. Bellini Valli 25 January 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    We grill all year round even in our Canadian winters so these grilled dishes are always healthy and welcome Nina.

  4. ♥peachkins♥ 25 January 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    those fish looks fantastic!

  5. Peter M 25 January 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    A wonderful post and I too like grilled fish best. Mullets? A good fish for grilling and it's the fish the Greeks harvest the avgotaraho (bottarga) from!

  6. Elra 25 January 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Hmmmm, that is so mouth watering fish Nina. Grilling them is the way to go.

  7. mycookinghut 25 January 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    I love fish cooked this way, simpler the better… I am waiting patiently for the summer here… hehehe.

  8. Pam 25 January 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Anything wrapped in bacon is better!

  9. Tuty 25 January 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    I love mullet especially when I can find the ones with roe. However, I have not tried grilling them wrapped in bacon. Thanks for the idea.

  10. Helene 26 January 2010 at 6:07 am #

    I never grill whole fish. The savour must be awesome.

  11. Kathleen 26 January 2010 at 8:36 am #

    Great recipe! Love grilled fish! I love how you point out the importance of supporting the advertisers on your blog. I'm thinking of adding a statement like that on my blog. You're a smart girl!

  12. Rose&Thorn 26 January 2010 at 10:55 am #

    I am going stumbling to Fruit and Veg this afternoon. I love fresh fish, and the 2 best places to find it is – Fruit and Veg (Willowbridge) and Fish 4 Africa.
    Thanks for the tip with the bacon, the boys will love that.

  13. katerina 26 January 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I have always wanted to grill a whole fish, but something seems intimidating about it. I really should though, yours are so beautiful! Oh and wrapped in bacon, yes please!

  14. Potjie 27 January 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Nina, hoe kry ek jou in die hande om van jou wors te bestel?

  15. Jan 27 January 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Oooh yum! How lovely do these look??!!!! Fantastic pictures x

  16. Susan @ SGCC 27 January 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Those fish are works of art! Just lovely! I did a double take when I read the title of your post. Summer!?!? I always forget that you're seasons are opposite mine!

  17. My Carolina Kitchen 27 January 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    These babies are gorgeous. Bacon makes everything better in my book. As always, awesome photos Nina.

  18. browniegirl 28 January 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Scrumptiously awesome Nina…hmmmm I have to go out and find me some asap. Your photos are droolicious!! Well done xxx

  19. TasteStopping 29 January 2010 at 4:12 am #

    Even though we live in the Northern part of the world, where it is cold and blustery right now, we still use our outdoor grill on a regular basis. It keep the house from smelling of whatever it is you might cook (fish being on the top of that list). This recipe looks great, as do your tips for grilling fish in general. Thanks for giving me some inspiration for our boring winter menu!

    Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  20. Jeanne @ Cooksister 29 January 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    What a fabulous way to cook whole fish! I always wonder why I don't cook more whole fish (although I must say that some guests freak out a little when their meal can stare back at them… 😉

  21. Jeanne @ Cooksister 29 January 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    What a fabulous way to cook whole fish! I always wonder why I don't cook more whole fish (although I must say that some guests freak out a little when their meal can stare back at them… 😉

  22. Cynthia 31 January 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    I am here sitting and smiling at your awesomeness. Gosh you are good.

  23. zenchef 1 February 2010 at 1:29 am #

    And i'm sitting here and smiling at your awesomeness too! 🙂 Wow, Nina. this is a kick-ass way to prepare fish. Perfect, just perfect! And with the bacon and rosemary even better. My head is spinning.

  24. Kathlyn 10 April 2011 at 11:47 am #

    How come when I click on a recipe that looks delicious, I get sent right to you? Can't wait to try this!

  25. Lynda 21 January 2014 at 10:16 am #

    I found some harders in our local fish shop and can’t wait to try this recipe on them. Thank you.

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