More Adventures with Local Fish- Sheephead on the Grill

Saturday ended up with another foray to Northwest Seafood to stock up on ground beef.

Not something you’d expect from a fishmonger but hey… it’s free-range, local ground beef for $5 per pound.

While we were there we started eyeing the rest of the fish counter.  I was thinking about buying mahi fillets for a change and here comes my husband with 2 whole sheephead! He got them scaled, gutted and “with a haircut” and we took them home.

Jim’s Herb-Stuffed Sheephead on the Grill with Ginger-Garlic-Grapefruit Dipping Sauce

2 whole sheephead fish (about 3 lb each), gutted, scaled and fins trimmed off
1 bunch garlic chives, chopped
1 lemon, sliced
plenty of peanut oil
salt & pepper
cherry wood chips

Rinse the fish inside and out with cold water. Rub the entire fish inside and out with peanut oil and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Stuff the chopped herbs inside the body cavity and then add the sliced lemons.

Make a packet out of aluminum foil and add 1 cup of cherry wood chips. Seal the foil packet well. Start the grill. If you’re using charcoal, let the charcoal light until flames are barely visible. Carefully place the fish on the highest rack available. If you’re using a gas grill, only turn on half of the grill’s burners, then place the fish on the side of the grill with no direct flame. Place the aluminum foil packet directly over the flame.

Close the lid and lightly smoke the fish for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, carefully move the fish to the lower rack and turn over. Cook for another 10 minutes. Then carefully, using wide spatulas, turn the fish over. Cook until the flesh flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part, around the rib bones near the head. Carefully transfer to a large platter. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Garlic-Ginger-Grapefruit Dipping Sauce

2 tbl peanut oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 thick slices of fresh ginger, minced
1 grapefruit
1/2 c light soy sauce
2 tsp sugar

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the ginger and garlic all at once and take the pan off the heat. Swirl the garlic and ginger until the garlic is golden and you can small the garlic and ginger. Add the soy sauce and put the pan back on the heat. Then cut the grapefruit in half. Squeeze each grapefruit into the sauce, straining the juice through your cupped fingers or through a small strainer to catch the seeds. Bring the dipping sauce to the barest simmer and add the sugar. Stir just until the sugar dissolves and set aside to cool.

My husband also made excellent fried rice to go along with the fish, with Chinese cured bacon and char siu we bought at Hong Kong Deli & Market, carrots and Chinese garlic chives from the farmer’s market, and scrambled eggs. Delicious light dinner!

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