Grilled Whole Red Snapper with Sweet Garlic Barbecue Sauce

In Thailand, variations on this simple but spectacular whole grilled fish turn up at beachfront grill shacks and upscale restaurants alike.

Plus: More Grilling Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 6

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  • 4 whole red snappers or black bass (about 1 3/4 pounds each), cleaned
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Sweet Garlic Barbecue Sauce and lime slices, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Make 3 crosswise slashes down to the bone on both sides of each fish. Place the fish in 2 large shallow glass baking dishes.

  2. In a mini food processor, pulse the garlic with the cilantro, salt, coriander and white pepper until finely chopped. With the machine on, slowly add 2 tablespoons of oil and process to a paste.

  3. Slather the paste in the fish cavities and slashes and spread any extra over the skin; refrigerate for 1 hour.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk the fish sauce with the lime juice, sugar and 3 tablespoons of oil. Set aside for basting.

  5. Light a grill. Lightly oil the grate. Grill the fish, covered, over a medium-low fire for about 25 minutes, basting twice and turning once, until cooked through. Transfer to a platter and fillet before serving with the Sweet Garlic Barbecue Sauce and lime slices.

Contributed By Published June 2002

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