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Episode 207: Tex Meets Mex

Whole Grilled Snapper in Pipian Sauce

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A whole snapper grilled on a salt slab, served with a Mexican grilled vegetable and pumpkin seed sauce called pipian.

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Whole Grilled Snapper in Pipian Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Method: Indirect grilling
  • Equipment: Toothpicks; 1 1/2 cups of wood chips, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained (optional); fish grilling basket (optional)

Ingredients

For the Fish

  • 2 whole snapper, cleaned, preferably with heads-on, each about 2 pounds
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise into rings
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 poblano chile (green or red), halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Grilled lime halves, for squeezing

Recipe Steps

1: Prepare the fish: Generously season the cavities of the fish with salt and pepper, then stuff with the onion, garlic, cilantro, and chile. Pin the cavities shut with toothpicks.

2: Brush the outside of the fish with olive oil, then make three diagonal, parallel slashes on the top side of each to facilitate even cooking.

3: Set up your grill for indirect grilling, preferably using wood as fuel. (If you cannot build a wood fire, use wood chips.) Heat to medium-high.

4: Arrange the stuffed fish on the grill grate, slashed sides up. Divide the soaked wood chips, if using, between the two piles of coals. Put the lid on the grill.

5: Indirect grill the fish until it is tender and the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes, or as needed. Carefully transfer the fish to a platter using a wide spatula. Spoon the Pipian Sauce over or under the fish. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds reserved from the sauce recipe. Serve with grilled limes halves for squeezing.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 2:

Big Green Egg Kalamazoo Green Mountain Grills FireMagic Creekstone Farms Weber Maverick Shun Basques Bonfire Workman Publishing Smoke n Fire

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.

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