Our friend Rashad Frazier returns to the Snow Peak blog with another mouth-watering recipe. This time, he demonstrates how to grill a fresh-caught Red Snapper over a Snow Peak Double BBQ Box.
One year ago, Camp Yoshi's Director of Photography, Alex Forestier, suggested we do a pop-up in Puerto Rico. We said, "why not" and this past January, twelve campers explored the real Puerto Rico. It was one of the best experiences we've ever had. There were plenty of highlights, from hiking El Junque, kayaking lava tubes to experiencing El Pretexto, but this grilled red snapper on the beach over coals was hands-down one of my favorite moments. There's a romance to preparing and grilling a whole fish. There may be easier ways, but nothing compares to the charred smokey flavor basted with lime escovitch butter. Head on, tail on; this is how you grill a whole fish.
Grilled Whole Red Snapper, Escovitch Salad & Charred Plantains
For the fish:
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp cumin
- Sea salt (preferably Jacobsen or Flake Sea Salt)
- Black pepper
- Canola oil
- Four one or two-pound red snapper or rockfish, cleaned and scaled with head and tail on.
- 4 oz of butter, melted
- 2 limes juiced
- For the plantains:
- 4 ripe plantains
For the Escovitch salad:
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers or habanero chiles - halved lengthwise, seeded and minced
- 3 red and yellow bell peppers - stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼ inch strips
- 1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, julienne
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
For the salad:
In a small bowl, mix the paprika with the cumin, one tablespoon of salt, and two teaspoons of pepper. In a mixing bowl, add the bell peppers, onion, carrot, garlic, allspice, celery seeds, the minced chile, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix using your hands until just softened, 5 minutes. Add the vinegar. Use your hands to toss, then season to taste with the pepper mixture and toss some more. Cover and set aside.
For the fish & plantains:
Mix the melted butter, lime juice, and one tbsp of the pepper mixture in a small bowl, then set aside. Make three or four diagonal shallow cuts on each side of the fish. Pat it dry with paper towels, then let it stand untouched in the open air for 20 minutes. Prepare your grill. Heat your charcoal with your Folding Torch. Allow coals to transform to hot white. Once they become white, scrub the grill grates with a metal cleaner, then brush with oil to help prevent the fish from sticking. If using the Double BBQ Box, set it up to keep the coals and grill grate about 3 - 4 inches apart.
Add the ripe plantains directly on top of the coals, under the fish, and cook for 14 - 18 minutes. Next, oil the fish, then season it inside and out with the pepper mixture. Place whole fish directly on the grill. Leave it be! Don't try to move before it crisps, or you'll end up breaking the skin. Each side takes 6 - 9 minutes. Once the first side crisps and is easy to lift, you can carefully turn it over. Brush this side with the butter lime sauce. Once the whole fish registers with an internal temperature of about 145 degrees or the meat is firm and opaque, it's ready to eat!
The fish and plantains should finish cooking around the same time. Baste the fish with more of the butter lime mixture. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes before eating. Plate each dish with the salad, plantains, and crispy-skinned fish. Enjoy.