Cooking fish and seafood on the barbecue takes confidence: a few distracted moments chatting with friends, and flame-licked scallops can go from succulent bites to rubbery pucks.
David Sharland of Cornwall’s Flying Fish Seafoods shares his simple pointers to avoid fishy failure
Watch your heat
Ensuring the heat is consistent across the grill is the key to evenly cooked fish. Too hot and the skin will burn before the flesh has reached flaky perfection. Too cool and you’ll have a soggy-skin situation.
Monkfish is a great gateway fish for barbecuing-beginners as its sturdy structure means it can stand up to ferocious cooking styles. Marinate the tail in a simple dressing, making sure to drain off any excess oil before grilling – this will prevent the flames flaring and blackening the fish.
A couple of grilled lemons are the perfect accompaniment to any oily fish. A brush of olive oil on each half and 5-10 minutes on the grill will summon an almost caramel depth and sweetness. Simply squeeze over the barbecued fish.
Mackerel can be a barbecue king, but its delicate composition can be troublesome on the grill if you’re not prepared. Try using a fine mesh or wrap in tin foil, adding herbs and oil to gently steam the fish.
It’s hard to beat a round of plump scallops cooked in their shells over fire. Try adding seaweed and smoking chips to the hot coals for wonderfully deep flavour, or simply brush the scallops with olive oil or butter before cooking.