Grilled Whole Dorade with Salsa Verde and Orange Fennel Salad

Grilled whole fish—it’s not so much a recipe as it is a technique. Easy to master, our tips will get you on your way to beautifully grilled fish every time.

Grilled dorade fish on cutting board with side dishes
Cooking fish whole is arguably the best way to enjoy both crispy, salty skin, and juicy, delicate meat with each bite. Though the skin can easily be removed once fish is fully cooked, we suggest keeping it on: It maximizes the flavor as it protects the flesh while the bones help keep it moist. When grilling, the key is to keep the skin from sticking to the grill too much. With a little patience and gentle maneuvering, we can ensure your fish will come off the grill in one piece.

For the Grilled Fish

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2- to 2-pound whole fish like dorade
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

What to Do:
1. Start with a fresh whole fish of your preference. We used dorade, sourced from Greece and beloved for its tender white meat.

2. Rinse the whole fish inside and out, and pat dry. Wrap in a paper towel to absorb any moisture—this helps to avoid sticking and bubbling of the skin.

3. Brush the grill surface thoroughly to ensure it is absolutely clean. Heat a grill over medium-high heat.

4. Lightly season the grill surface with an oiled towel.

5. Rub the fish with a light coat of extra virgin olive oil. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Place the whole fish on the grill and cook for 7–10 minutes. When the skin is cooked, it will “release” from the grill. To check to see if it’s ready, try lifting the tail. If it releases, it’s ready to flip. If it still sticks to the grill, allow another minute before trying again.

7. When the fish is ready to flip, use a large spoon or spatula to gently turn the fish on to the other side. Cook for another 5–7 minutes.

8. Pair your grilled whole fish with a side salad of fennel and oranges, and top with freshly made salsa verde:

Fennel Orange Salad

What You’ll Need:
2 round fennel bulbs
1 orange
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Optional: arugula

What to Do:
Trim off green tops from fennel bulbs and slice into thin pieces.

Peel and segment the orange.

Combine the fennel and orange slices, drizzle with olive oil, and add some extra orange juice from one segment. Season with salt and pepper.

For peppery notes, add in a handful of arugula.

Salsa Verde

What You’ll Need:
4 ounces basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 ounce mint
1 ounce parsley
2 ounce capers

What to Do:
Place basil, mint, parsley, and capers in a blender or food processor. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until blended.

Serve on the side of whole fish.

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