Classic tandoori barbequed whole fish is delicious on the bbq but can also be baked in the oven. The delicious Indian tandoori rub creates a mild yet fragrant taste, paired with the tangy kachumber salad for a mouth watering dish.
Barbecued whole fish
You cant beat the flavour of a whole fish cooking on the bbq. Melt in your mouth flakey flesh with crispy skin. Choose a medium-hot part of the bbq to cook on, but avoid too high heat or your fish will burn before it is cooked through. Choose a fish with medium to firm flesh for barbecuing. We chose Tarakihi which is a super versatile fish, great for the bbq or oven baking. Ask your local fish supplier or monger for advice about what fish is best in your region.
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Preparing a whole fish
To prepare your fish trim off all the fins. Under running cold water use a knife to remove the scales. Start from the tail and move down towards the head. Once all the scales are removed rinse the fish then pat it dry with kitchen paper.
We recommend getting to know your local fish monger or supplier, you can ask their advice about what fish to choice and how best to prepare it. We are lucky to have Harbour Fish as our local supplier, who we know deliver the best fresh, locally caught fish!
How can you tell if a fish is fresh?
This is a really common question and its important to know when buying fish, especially if you are buying it from somewhere new.
- Its all in the eyes!
Probably the most important part to check first. If the fish is fresh it will have bulging, shiny and clear eyes. If the eyes are cloudy or sunken at all, it indicates the fish is getting old. So leave it where it is and buy your fish elsewhere!
- The sniff test is best.
There's a reason our bodies respond with a 'yuck' feeling when we get the smell of rotting flesh... we aren't meant to eat it!
Your fish should have a mild smell of the sea or river it came from. Any unpleasant, sour or pungent smells and that fish is definitely past its best!
- Gills, Gills, Gills.
They should be bright pink/ red and slightly wet, if they are slimy or dry, leave that fish behind.
- Check the skin.
The flesh should be firm and shiny. If it is discolored, loose, slimy or cracked it could be a sign the fish is getting old, so look for something fresher!
Be confident when it comes to choosing your fish. Once you know the signs to look for its easy and the rewards of tasty fresh fish are well worth it.
Now you have your perfect fish ready, time to get cooking. Enjoy our delicious Classic Tandoori Barbequed Whole Fish recipe with the beautifully paired kachumber salad.
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Tandoori Tarakihi with Kachumber Salad
- 4 Whole Tarakihi Plate size (300g each)
- 4 tablespoon Tandoori paste
- 300 g Natural Unsweetened yoghurt
- 15 Cherry tomatoes
- ½ Cucumber
- ½ Red Onion
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1 Kashmiri chilli Dried
- 1 teaspoon Black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- Bunch of fresh mint
- Bunch of Fresh coriander
- ½ Lemon
- 1½ Cups Jasmine rice
- 3 cups Water
- First you need to prepare your fresh fish. Grab a pair of scissors and trim off all the fins on the fish.
- Under running cold water using a knife remove the scales, starting from the tail and moving towards the head.
- Make 3 evenly spaced cuts on each side of your fish down to the spine on an angle.
- Mix your tandoori paste with the yoghurt until well combined and rub all over your fish making sure to get it inside the cuts on the sides and also in the belly.
- Set aside to marinate, the longer the better, I suggest 2 hours minimum.
- Heat a small pan with 2 tablespoon of canola oil, add the black mustard seeds, dried chilli, cumin powder and garam masala, toast until fragrant, this takes about 30 seconds. Remove and place into a bowl to cool.
- Cut your cherry tomatoes into half, peel and cut your cucumber into chunks and thinly slice your red onion, add this to the toasted spices.
- Squeeze in the juice from your lemon and add a pinch of salt.
- Tear up your coriander and mint leaves and add to your salad, give it all a good mix to combine.
- Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- Place your jasmine rice into a sieve and rinse under running cold water until the water runs clear through the rice, this washes off the excess starch.
- Place your washed rice into a medium pot and add the water.
- Place a lid on your pot and bring to the boil, once you have a rapid boil turn down to low, do not remove the lid.
- Allow the rice to cook on low until the water is absorbed. This will take around 8 minutes.
- Once all the water has been absorbed leave the lid on and set aside for 5 minutes, remove the lid and with a fork fluff up the rice.
- Heat your BBQ on high until hot.Spray the grill plate of your BBQ with some canola oil spray and place your fish onto your grill.Grill each side for about 4 minutes and until charred, keep brushing the fish with extra marinade while the fish is cooking. Use a large spatula to turn your fish over.Once the fish is cooked remove from the grill and allow to rest.
- Place the fish onto your serving plate or platter.Spoon your kachumber salad into small bowls and place onto the plates. Sprinkle over the mint leaves, fresh coriander and sliced red chilli. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and extra lemon or lime wedges.Enjoy!
- Get your fish supplier to gut the fish for you,
if you ask they may also remove the scales.
- Perfect for BBQ but can also be oven baked.
- The cooking time may vary depending on size
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