The city of Dalian, China is a coastal city, so living there afforded me lots of opportunities to try all kinds of seafood - some that I loved and some that I can't even mention on this blog since my niece reads this (I don't know the official name, just what they looked like) - but my favorite became whole fish, whether it was breaded and deep fried, simply steamed or grilled.
My students once tried to shock me by ordering a rather controversial dish on the menu - a whole fish brought to the table and served on ice, but the fish was still breathing. Talk about fresh fish.
Whole Grilled Fish with Lemons and Onions, and Vegetable Kabobs
Note: This recipe was written for a medium-sized fish that was just enough for two people. Just increase the quantities of all the ingredients if you're cooking a bigger or several fish for more people. You should plan on about 1/2 pound of fish per person.
- 1 whole fish, gutted and cleaned (about 1 pound)
- 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and the other juiced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms, halved
- 1/2 yellow squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the cleaned fish on a double layer of foil. Stuff the fish with the spinach, lemon slices and onion slices, reserving a few to lay across the top. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap up the fish in the foil to create a little package.
Place the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, squash and zucchini on metal skewers (or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for several hours). Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the skewers and the foil packet with the fish on the grill and cook until the veggies have reached your desired doneness, and the fish flakes easily with a fork (about 20 minutes).