During Lent, Fridays in my house are referred to as fishy Fridays, at least by my husband. As a kid, we never ate meat on Fridays during Lent and the practice has stuck with me. Given I work all day, quick, easy recipes are a must, like my seafood scampi or the easy grilled branzino featured here. I’m always on the lookout for new fish dishes, so thought I’d share this one since it’s easy and totally yummy.
Branzino is a meaty white fish that rates well for sustainability. It’s pretty easy to find; look for whole fish with nice clear eyes. Have your fishmonger trim the fins and tail or do it yourself – just be careful, they can be sharp!
The soy-ginger sauce adds a ton of flavor and is great drizzled over steamed jasmine rice for a quick side. I also made a quick Asian slaw. The meal was light and healthy and something I’ll definitely make again. If you can’t find branzino, another variety of sea bass or even red snapper would work.
- 2 1- to 1¼-pound whole branzino, scaled, gutted, and fins removed
- 3 2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, 1 thinly sliced, 2 finely chopped
- 4 scallions, trimmed, 1 cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces, 3 thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and halved, 2 minced
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few springs for garnish
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1½ tsp. sesame oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare a grill for medium high heat.
- With a sharp knife, cut 3 diagnoals in both sides of each fish to allow the marinade to soak in.
- Divide the sliced ginger, halved garlic ad chopped cilantro between the cavities of the 2 fish.
- Place the fish in a grill basket, if you have one.
- In a small bowl, mix the chopped ginger, ⅔ of the sliced scallions, the chopped garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Season with pepper.
- Spoon 2 teaspoons of the marinade over each fish and marinate for about 5 minutes. Reserve remaining sauce for serving.
- Grill the fish in a grill basket. If you don't have a grill basket, oil the grates before placing the fish on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until the flesh of the fish is opaque and the skin is crispy.
- Transfer the fish to a platter. Top with the reserved scallions and a few sprigs of cilantro and serve with the sauce. The sauce is excellent over steamed rice as well!