By Karen Adler and Judith Fertig 25 Essentials: Techniques for Grilling Fish
Most freshwater and ocean fish can be marinated for only 30 minutes at most—or they turn opaque and are essentially "cooked" before you even go out to the grill. The exception, though, is strong-flavored, oily fish like amberjack, bluefish, salmon, mackerel, marlin, mullet, or even our old standby, farm-raised catfish, which can stand up to longer marinating. In fact, marinating these oily fish for a longer time makes them taste even better.
Our Japanese-style marinade is not too acidic—it's the acid from citrus juices or vinegar that can "pickle" fish in minutes. Soy sauce and sake add a spirited flavor. Sugar and mirin, a sweet Japanese wine, give a glazed appearance to the finished dish. And fresh ginger makes it all come together.
Yield: Serves 4
Japanese-Style Marinade 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup sake or dry white wine 1/4 cup mirin or sweet sherry 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 fish fillets (bluefish, mackerel, or other oily fish), about 6 ounces each Olive oil Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lemon slices for serving
1. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then immediately remove from the heat. Cover and let cool to room temperature.
2. Arrange the fish fillets in a deep baking dish and pour the marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, turning the fish occasionally.
3. Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Oil the grill grate or a perforated grill rack.
4. Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry. Brush or spray the fillets on both sides with olive oil. Place the fish, flesh side down, on the grill rack and grill for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once halfway through. A fish fillet is done when it begins to flake when tested with a fork in the thickest part. Remove from the grill, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot, garnished with fresh lemon slices.