Forget burgers, hot dogs, and chicken. The next time you take your cooking outside, you’ll be placing seafood on your grill. Full of good-for-you fats and protein, fish can be a healthy part of your diet. Grilling is a quick way to prepare fish, but a few tips need to be kept in mind when cooking this way. Fine Cooking says that in order to keep your fish from sticking to the grill, always coat your fillets with oil before placing them on the heat.
Delish adds that you need to clean the grill and have the patience to leave the fish alone, allowing it to sear properly before trying to flip. Other guides are available if you’re still leery about grilling fish, and FishWatch, an organization devoted to providing information about fish in the U.S., has information, as well. The site provided all the basic information for the various types of fish that follow. With all these facts floating around in your head, you’re ready to dive into these seven great grilling recipes for seafood.
1. Grilled Lemon Garlic Halibut
Pacific halibut has a sweet, mild taste; when cooked, it is flaky but firm. Halibut is a thick cut, which Serious Eats says helps novice grillers since it won’t fall apart on you. If you’ve never tried halibut, give it a go with Betty Crocker’s grilled lemon garlic halibut, which serves four.
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 halibut or tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
Directions: Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. In shallow glass or plastic dish or resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add fish; turn several times to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate 10 minutes. Remove fish from marinade; reserve marinade. Cover and grill fish 4-6 inches from medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning once and brushing with marinade, until fish flakes easily with fork. Discard any remaining marinade. Sprinkle fish with parsley and lemon peel.
2. Grilled Tuna with Basil Pesto
There are several varieties of tuna available, but all are characterized for being a mild fish with texture close to steak. Albacore is a rich tuna that yields large flakes; yellowfin and bluefin are generally served raw in sushi; and skipjack and bigeye are often sold as canned tunas. For grilled tuna, try this recipe Giada de Laurentiis provided to the Cooking Channel, which serves four.
- 2 (2-inch-thick) tuna steaks (about 1 pound each)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½-¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions: Preheat grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and pat dry the tuna steaks. Season with salt and pepper and brush both sides with olive oil. Place tuna on hot grill and sear each side for 2 minutes for rare. If you prefer well done, cook the tuna an additional 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and let it rest.
Into the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Pulse until finely chopped. With the blender still running, slowly pour ½ cup of olive oil. Check for a thick yet smooth consistency, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and stir in ½ cup Parmesan. Slice the tuna across the grain and on a bias into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the slices on a serving plate and drizzle with lemon juice. Sauce tuna with pesto.
3. Moroccan Grilled Salmon
With salmon, you’ll be purchasing Atlantic, one of the Pacific species. Atlantic salmon is only available from farms, while Pacific can be wild-caught. Sockeye salmon will be firm and is known for its vivid coloring; pink salmon is available from both oceans and is a leaner fish with a mild taste; Atlantic salmon generally has a higher healthy fat content. To spice up your cut of salmon, add cayenne to Eating Well‘s Moroccan marinade.
- 2 tablespoons low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions
- 2 lemon wedges
Directions: Combine yogurt, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sauce; cover and refrigerate. Place salmon in a medium sealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining yogurt mixture, seal the bag, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 10 (or up to 30) minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium high. Oil the grill rack. Remove the salmon from the marinade, blotting any excess. Grill the salmon until it is browned and just cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Top the salmon with the reserved sauce and garnish with lemon wedges.
4. Grilled Shrimp with Honey-Ginger Barbecue Sauce
The taste and texture of shrimp vary by species and by color. Large white shrimp are tender, large brown shrimp are firmer, and large pink shrimp are tender and sweet. If you aren’t sure which one you want to use, tell whoever is working behind the counter for advice based on what you are making. This grilled shrimp and barbecue sauce recipe from Gourmet Live via Epicurious recommends using whatever is fresh; it makes eight servings and you’ll need skewers.
- 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup mild honey
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1½ tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 pounds jumbo (21-25 per pound) or extra large (26-30 per pound) shrimp in shell, peeled, leaving tail and adjoining shell segment intact, and deveined
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Directions: Stir together all sauce ingredients in a 2- to 2½-quart heavy saucepan and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1¼ cups, 25-30 minutes. You will need to stir frequently near the end to keep it from sticking. The sauce can be made up to three days ahead of time and stored in the fridge; reheat before using.
For the shrimp, if necessary, pat dry, then thread about 6 (through top and tail, leaving shrimp curled) onto each skewer, without leaving space between shrimp. Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal, medium-high for gas. Meanwhile, brush shrimp with vegetable oil and sprinkle evenly with salt. Lightly oil grill rack. Grill shrimp, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, 2 minutes. Brush shrimp with some sauce from the saucepan, then turn. Brush shrimp with additional sauce, then grill until just cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.
5. Grilled Teriyaki Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa
Characterized by moist, firm flakes, mahi mahi is another fantastic fish to grill. It is also known for having a mild flavor, causing many to turn to spices to kick up its taste. In Food.com‘s recipe, the mahi mahi is marinated in a teriyaki sauce before grilling and served with a mango salsa — a combination that would be great for fish tacos.
- 1 large ripe mango
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper, with seeds
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup sweet sake
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 mahi mahi fillets, about 6 ounces each and 1 inch thick
- vegetable oil
Directions: For the salsa, peel the mango and cut into ¼-inch diced pieces. Put mango pieces in a small bowl with the remaining salsa ingredients; stir to combine. Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the marinade, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sweet sake, vegetable oil, light brown sugar, fresh ginger, and minced garlic; set aside. Place the mahi mahi fillets in a large Ziploc plastic bag. Pour marinade into bag; press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn or shake the bag to coat fillets with marinade. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Take fillets out of bag and throw away marinade. Brush or spray both sides of fillets with vegetable oil. Grill over high heat until fish is opaque throughout, 8-10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Serve warm with salsa.
6. Grilled Snapper with Caper Sauce
A lean fish, snapper also has a mild taste to it. Red snapper (as used in this recipe) is an incredibly popular species of snapper, and FishWatch says to be aware that in markets people may try to pass off other red fish as snapper, but only actual red snapper can be labeled as such. Try this Taste of Home recipe with grilled vegetables or rice.
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1¼ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 red snapper fillets (6 ounces each)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1½ teaspoons chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Directions: In a small food processor, combine the first six ingredients; cover and process until blended. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the fillets; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain and discard marinade.
Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill fillets, covered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a small food processor. Cover and process until blended. Serve with fish.
7. Grilled Oysters
There are Pacific and Eastern oysters available for purchase; all oysters are a good source of protein and healthy fats. Oysters can be served raw, but this Bon Appétit recipe is so easy, we don’t see why you wouldn’t want to grill up a few dozen oysters. Served alongside a homemade herb butter. The oysters serve six and are a delicious start to a meal or appetizer.
- 3 dozen large oysters
- herb butter
- lemon wedges (for serving)
- hot sauce (for serving)
- 1 cup (packed) fresh herb leaves (such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, and tarragon)
- ½ small garlic clove
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Directions: To make the butter, pulse herbs and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and process until smooth; season with salt and pepper. This can be done three days ahead of time, storing the butter in the fridge.
For the oysters, prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Scrub oysters. Place, cupped side down, on grate, cover grill, and grill until oysters begin to open, about 2 minutes. Transfer opened oysters to a platter (discard any that do not open). Let cool slightly, then use an oyster knife or screwdriver to pry shells open, keeping cupped side down and retaining as much liquid as possible. Using an oyster knife or paring knife, cut muscles connecting oysters to shells. Serve warm with butter, lemon wedges, and hot sauce.