Fish needs to be handled carefully
when on the bbq, it doesn't like rough treatment (but
then who does?). Don't over flavor it, gentle
rubs and sauces are all that is needed, or none at
all. Don't over cook fish, and serve as soon as
it is cooked.
Honey & Lime with Mahi Mahi
If you've just caught a mahi mahi
(also called dorado), then great, if not, a quick
visit to a good fishmongers, remember fish should not
smell. Like most fish, Mahi Mahi cooks fast on
the grill. Medium High heat is perfect for fish. But
before the cooking starts there’s a little prep
work. By its self, Mahi Mahi can be a little
light tasting, so why not zap it up with a little
marinade, this one is for honey and lime.
For the marinade you need:
- 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 TBS Honey
- 1/4 tea cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt
Whisk these ingredients together in a bowl. Rinse the Mahi Mahi filets under cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the fish in a zip lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Gently move the filets around so that everything is covered and place the bag in the refrigerator for 45min to 1 hour. You don’t want to leave it in the marinade too long because the lime juice will actually start to cook the fish.
The trick to grilling perfect fish is to have a well-greased cooking surface. You also want it to be clean and hot. To oil the cooking surface use a cotton rag soaked in vegetable oil. Right before the fish goes on give the grate a good rub with the rag. It doesn’t have to be thick just a decent coating. Sometimes the fish still wants to stick a little but this will help for the most part.
The cooking time for Mahi Mahi is
fast. Place the fish on the grate and set a timer for
1 ½ minutes. When it goes off, use a spatula and twist
the fish a quarter turn, so it has that diamond
pattern, restaurant look. Time it for another 1 ½
minutes then give it a gentle turn to the opposite
side. Set the timer for 1 ½ minutes once again.
At this point brush on a glaze, try this one.
Honey Lime Glaze
- 2 TBS Lime Juice
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 TBS Honey
- Salt and Pepper
Add the lime juice, vinegar, and
honey to a bowl. While whisking slowly add the olive
oil. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper to balance
the flavor. After three more minutes the Mahi is
ready to come off the grill. When the fish is cooked,
give the grill a quick brush to remove any stuck on
So, basically that's BBQing in a nutshell, it's not rocket science, just a little forethought and you should achieve the perfect BBQ.
what about plank grilling?
Grill on fragrant wood planks for subtle, smoky flavors. Try plank grilling with fish, meats, and vegetables. There’s nothing to it!
How to Plank
When choosing a plank, pick only untreated cedar, alder, hickory, or maple. Here are a few other tips to ensure plank-grilling success:
- Prepare the plank by soaking it at least one hour in a bucket or cooler filled with water. This adds moisture to the wood and prevents it from burning on the grill.
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt or 1 cup of white wine, apple juice, citrus, or berry juice to the soaking water to accent wood aromas.
- If a plank is being used for the first time, season it by placing it on a preheated grill for 2 minutes, turning once. Lightly toasting the plank on both sides will intensify its smoky flavor and prevent warping. When the plank starts crackling, it’s ready for cooking.
- Place marinated or ready-to-cook foods directly on the plank. Keep the grill’s lid closed as much as possible to maintain temperatures and maximize smoking. Note: Planked food does not have to be turned during grilling.
- Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy so flames can be extinguished if the plank starts to burn.
- Remove the plank from the grill and place into a container of water.
- Rinse a used plank with soap and water and let it dry. Re-soaking for another use is optional. Store plank in a dry, clean place.
- Reuse grilling planks about two or three times. If there’s wood left, you can use the plank.
- Crumble up charred planks over coals to use as smoking chips.
Different woods provide distinct, subtle flavors.
- Western Red Cedar–Sweet, spicy, with a mild smokiness; versatile for fish to veggies.
- Western Alder–Robustly smoky with a hint of vanilla; ideal for salmon, other fish, vegetables, cheese, and even pizza.
- Western Maple–Mildly smoky with buttery accents; suitable for all foods.
Hickory–Rich smoke with
subtle, bacon-like flavor;
excellent with burgers and meats.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced-sodium
- 1/4 cup sake, or dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons scallions, coursely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, coursely chopped
- 4 5-ounce fillets wild salmon, or steaks, 3/4-1 inch thick, skin on
- 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
- Step 1
- Soak a grilling plank in water for 2 to 4 hours.
- Step 2
- Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, sake (or white wine), mirin, sugar, scallions and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Step 3
- Place salmon in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Place lemon slices on top. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours, turning the fish once or twice.
- Step 4
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Step 5
- Place the soaked plank over direct heat on the grill and heat for 2 minutes. Move the plank so it’s over indirect heat. Remove the salmon from the marinade, place it skin-side down (if using fillets) on the hot plank and replace the lemon slices on top. Close the lid and cook until the fish is just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.