SALONE GRILLED BRANZINO
Branzino or white sea bass has fast become my go-to grilling fish! It has all the elements that lend itself to a perfect grilling fish. It's not too "boney"; the flesh is clean and when cooked right - it's delicate and flaky (textbook almost!) The skin is hardy enough to withhold the hot grill grates and coals....I could go on and on! The seasonings that I've used are typical to how we grill most everything back home in good old Sierra Leone, also affectionately referred to as "Salone". Here's how I did this. It's not even a recipe -it's more of a "method". So go at it!
- Branzino (medium)
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper or 5 to 6 dried peppers (I used piri-piri or bird's eye peppers)
- 1 small onion
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch fresh or dried herbs (I used dried - thyme)
- Salt and Pepper (S&P) to taste
- Put all of the ingredients (except the fish of course!) into a food processor and blend. Set aside
- Season your fish generously with the S&P
- Stuff the gutted cavity of the fish with the herbs. And for good measure if you prefer, add some lime slices in the cavity.
- Truss the fish to keep everything in tact.
- Oil your grill grate and place fish on grill. Let it cook UNINTERRUPTED for approx. 5 minutes on each side.
- Schmear the peanut paste all over one cooked side of fish and let it grill for 2 to 3 minutes and turn it over and schmear on the other cooked side for same amount of time.
- All in all, you'll do this schmear/turn/grill two or so more time making sure you don't mess with it each time. Just let the grill and the fish and the seasonings do their thing.
- Whatever you do.....don't kill the poor guy twice! Depending on how hot your coals are and how big or small your fish is, you need no more than 20 to 25 minutes on the grill to cook the fish through and develop some nice grill char!
You can also bake this if you don't want to grill it. Bake it at 400 F. for the same amount of time as on grill. Seriously I had this guy on the grill for 20 some odd minutes....and it came out so moist and juicy!