The other day Bill brought home a 2 1/2 lb whole red snapper from our local Whole Foods. (And yes, in case you were wondering, those are Julia's little fingers on the left. When Bill told her what he had, she asked "Can I have the eyeballs?!")
Anyway. Bill's brother and sister-in-law were coming to stay with us for part of the week, and were due in later that day, and we'd planned a feast of fish, grilled vegetables (zucchini, pattypan squash, and kohlrabi) from the garden, and the remaining goat cheese ravioli I had in the freezer.
Bill was entirely in charge of the grilled items – all I did toward the meal was cook the ravioli.
And here's what he did with the fish.
First thing, he told me the fishmonger at Whole Foods scaled it for him, which was a great time-saver. Next, he cleaned out any stray bits of guts left in the cavity.
He took a couple of scallions from the garden, and a good-sized knob of ginger and sliced them up.
He mashed some of that up with a mortar and pestle and set that aside, and saved the rest for later.
Then he cut several slits down both sides of the fish – down to the bone, but not through – and filled the slits and the cavity with the mashed mix of ginger and scallion.
Then he combined soy sauce, rice vinegar, the rest of the ginger and scallions, and some salt and pepper and poured that over the fish in a 13 x 9 inch pyrex baking dish.
He marinated the fish for about 4 hours, turning it over once about half-way through.
When it came time to grill, he did the vegetables first, and by the time they were done, the coals had cooked down and the temperature was lower. The coals were on one side of the grill, and Bill placed the snapper on the other half of the grill, put the lid on, and let it cook. Flipping it over was a bit stressful, but the fish stayed intact. In all, the fish took about half an hour to cook over indirect heat, and it came out perfectly.
(Those little round things are the grilled kohlrabi, which were arranged on the platter above the fish.)
Bill had cooked down the marinade while the fish was on the grill, and before serving he drizzled that over the fish.
The meal was fabulous – and there was not a bit of fish left to eat. Including the eyes.
So get a whole fish and grill it up this summer – you won't be sorry!