Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Salt Slab-Grilled Rockfish with Melon Mint Relish



  • Yield: Serves 2, but can be scaled up
  • Equipment: a Himalayan salt slab large enough to hold the fish (optional), or see Indirect Grilling Method below.
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For the fish:

  • 1 2-pound whole rockfish, red snapper, or other fish, cleaned
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sprig of fresh mint
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the Garlic Butter Baste:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground or cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons finely slivered fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Step 1: Prepare the fish: Make 3 slashes to the bone in each side of the fish. (This helps the fish cook more evenly.) Generously season the inside and outside of the fish with salt and pepper. Stuff a sprig of mint inside the cavity. Drizzle the outside of the fish with olive oil.

Step 2: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400 degrees). Preheat the salt slab at the same time.

Step 3: Arrange the fish directly on the hot salt slab. Grill the fish until sizzling and browned on the outside and cooked through (the internal temperature will be about 140 degrees), 30 to 40 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when pressed with a fork or finger. Start basting the fish with the garlic butter baste after 10 minutes.

Step 4: Transfer the fish to a platter or plates. Serve with the Melon Mint Relish.

Tips:

To Indirect Grill: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high (400 degrees). Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the fish on the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Indirect grill the fish until sizzling and browned on the outside and flakes easily when pressed with a fork or finger, about 30 minutes. Start basting the fish with the garlic butter baste after 10 minutes and baste several times.

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