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Wood grilling may be the oldest Asian method of fish preparation.
Firm-fleshed whole fish, steaks and fillets can be grilled with great success. Marinated pieces of fish, shellfish and small whole fish are often skewered on bamboo sticks. The sticks help balance foods as they are turned on the grill. To test skewered seafood for doneness, twist the stick; if it can be twisted easily with little resistance, the food is properly cooked. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for one hour before cooking to prevent excessive burning. Grilling is low-fat; only tiny amounts of oil are needed to baste the fish to prevent drying and sticking. Japanese seafood teriyaki is a gastronomic delight. Teri means "shimmering" and yaki means "to broil". The glazing mixture should be brushed onto the foods beginning halfway through the cooking time to prevent flare-ups and too much burning. Monkfish, salmon, tuna, halibut, red snapper and swordfish are excellent choices for an Asian barbecue. Avoid delicate fish, which will fall apart. Enhanced by Asian seasonings and the smoky taste of a wood fire, grilled seafood is hard to beat.
* When grilling whole fish, allow 10 minutes cooking time for each inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part.
* Marinades add flavor to fish; basting sauces help keep them moist on the grill.
* Add flavor by stuffing the cavity of a whole fish with ginger slices, lemongrass, lime slices, sprigs of coriander or smashed green onions.
(To smash green onion, lay it on a cutting board. With the broad side of a cleaver or chef's knife, hit it with a forceful whack. The fibers of the flattened vegetable will be broken and the juices released. Shred the onion with the tip of the knife, or mince as needed.)
* To prevent sticking, oil the grill and let it get hot before the adding the fish.
* Cook seafood over a moderately hot fire ÄÄ but not too hot or the delicate flesh will char.
* Fish with a fragile texture can be placed on a piece of heavy-duty foil on top of the grill. Poke holes in the foil.
* Charcoal smoke heightens the flavor of fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon or sablefish.
Simply Seafood Fall 1993
Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 01-13-95