When you think “family barbecue” do your thoughts immediately fill with images of hotdogs and bags of chips? If so, is it time to shake it up? BC fish puts a nice twist on the standard BBQ menu and is naturally low in sodium and saturated fats. Whether you catch your own or buy it from the store, fish is a tasty, light and nourishing heart healthy food. Let your eyes and nose do the selecting when choosing fish.
Fresh is best. Fresh fish should not smell ‘fishy’. Whole fish should have bright clear eyes and shiny skin with rich red gills. Fish steaks or fillets should have firm flesh. While you’re inspecting the fish on offer ask your fish monger about their selection of sustainably harvested fish and sea food. Fatty or ‘oily’ fish like salmon and trout can be grilled directly on the barbeque. To grill fish, first brush the grill or the fish with some oil to prevent the fish from sticking to the grill. Fish are delicate, so only flip them once on the grill. Lean fish like halibut can become overly dry if grilled.
The baking technique helps to keep lean fish moist. To bake fish on the barbecue set it on a tray, a pan, piece of foil or pre-soaked cedar plank. This will protect the fish from the high heat of the grill. If using this method, keep the lid on the barbecue to build up the heat inside. Fish cook quickly. The general rule of thumb is to cook fish for 8-10 minutes per 1 inch (2.5 cm) of thickness. When the fish is cooked the flesh will flake easily with a fork and turn opaque.
Fish can be simply prepared with a brush of oil or butter, a little lemon, and some fresh herbs. Alternatively you can fancy fish up with marinades or sauces.
Try this recipe from BC Dietitian Debbie Houle for a simple salmon on the grill meal. Let us know how you like to BBQ fish!