Top 5 Seafood Grilling Tips from Seafood Expert Jon Alexis
Why does grilled seafood taste so good?
The one-directional heat from a grill sears the outside and leaves the inside juicy and moist…end result is delicious seafood.
Steaky fish like salmon, swordfish, tuna, sea bass and halibut are all easy to grill. Fillets like snapper, tilapia and trout are more challenging but not difficult.
Here are my top five tips for grilling seafood:
Clean Your Machine
Brush and oil your grill as it is heating up to ensure fish won’t stick to the grill.
Feel The Heat
Your grill’s temperature gauge can be inaccurate. Put your hand an inch above the grill. If you can’t get your hand that close, it’s too hot. If you don’t have to pull away after 2-4 seconds, it’s too cold. Most fish can be cooked 6-7 min per side over medium heat (remember, “feel the heat” to determine if your grill is the right temp).
The secret to keeping fish moist is marinating it. A good fishmonger will recommend something that suits your palate. At TJ’s, for example, if you tell us what flavors you like (spicy, Asian, citrus, herb, sweet, tart, etc), we’ll send you home with a perfect marinade.
Leave the skin on
Leave the skin on your fish. The fish fillet will hold together better and retain moisture and flavor. Don’t like to eat the skin? It is easier to take off after cooking than before.
Keep The Lid Up
Grilled fish requires one-directional heat. Closing the grill simply bakes your fish.
Jon Alexis is the co-owner of TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market & Catering, 11661 Preston Road, Dallas.