Grilled Whole Fish with Curried Yogurt Marinade

Western coast cooks are masters of the fish braai (barbecue). At the Strandkombuis restaurant in Yzerfontein, the meal is a bit like a clambake in that chef and owner Marie van der Merwe grills all kinds of seafood over wood coals on the beach. This recipe, with its marinade and sweet spices, reflects the Cape Malay cooking style.

Plus: More Grilling Recipes and Tips

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 1 1/4-pound sea bass or pompano, pan-dressed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the cilantro, lime juice, curry powder, ginger and olive oil.

  2. Make 3 crosswise slashes on both sides of each fish, cutting down to the bone. Transfer the fish to a large rimmed baking sheet and coat all over with the yogurt marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Light a grill. Oil the grate. Remove the fish from the marinade, leaving on a light coating; reserve the marinade. Season the fish with salt and pepper and grill over a medium-hot fire, basting with the marinade, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 10 minutes per side. Serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

An assertive Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc with acidity will stand up to the fish's smoky grilled flavors.

Contributed By Published May 2004

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