How to Grill Fish

How to grill fish, including seafood recipes for fish and vegetable kabobs, whole fennel trout, ginger salmon with salad greens, swordfish steaks with herbs and fast fish.

| April/May 1996

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    Fish is far lower in fat than other meats, especially the infamous saturated fat that is a major contributor to heart disease.
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    The photographer had to beat the staff off with a stick just to get a close-up of the kabobs.
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    Preparing fresh fish for the grill.

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MOTHER's Kitchen column shares how to grill fish. Rekindle one of the best meals of summer with these seafood recipes hot off the grill. 

How to Grill Fish

Over the years some of us have managed to develop a fish phobia. Perhaps it's those childhood memories of the lingering aroma of fish sticks that we were forced to consume every Friday. Or what about the cooler full of huge, slimy, bulging eyed fish that Uncle Fred used to bring back from his fishing trips? And that smell—even the freshest fish leaves a slight odor when prepared indoors.

Even if we cast our experiences aside, we might think that fish is too time consuming in comparison to our usual grilling fare of brats and burgers. We might also feel compelled to comb cookbooks, searching for fancy sauces and marinades to disguise the fishy flavor or dry texture. The truth is, these are just fish stories. Fish actually requires very little attention if you buy fresh steaks or fillets and requires less grilling time than chicken or burgers. As long as the fish isn't overcooked, it'll be juicy and delicious with or without a marinade.

When it comes to nutritional benefits, fish has the brats beat. Fish is far lower in fat than other meats, especially the infamous saturated fat that is a major contributor to heart disease. The fat that is present in the fish has the famous omega-3 fatty acids which help to prevent blocked arteries, and consequently heart disease. A study in the Netherlands showed that eating fish only twice a week can reduce the risk of having a heart attack by 50 percent. The amount of omega-3 present in the fish depends on how fatty the fish is (salmon is higher), and whether the fish was farm raised, in which case the quality of the fish food varies. The fattier fish (which are still at least 20 percent lower in fat than beef) also contain an antioxidant called coenzyme Q, which is believed to be more effective than vitamin E when it comes to lowering the bad guy LDL cholesterol in your body.

Today folks must be casting aside those fish fears in favor of the seafood because fish consumption is on the rise. Still worried about that smell? For those of you men who are the Macho King of the BBQ, fish may not have the same prestige as a side of beef, but the neighbors will be mighty impressed when you gracefully flip over a five-pound lake trout. Think that you can't really sink your teeth into a fish fillet? Try the meaty, steak like swordfish shark or tuna steaks. Whatever your phobias, it's time to fire up that grill for a delicious fish dinner. Here are some tips to get you started.

Fish and Vegetable Kabobs Recipe

This is a good family meal that goes well with corn on the cob and a summer salad. Use a meaty fish that will stay on the skewer. We've used mako shark, swordfish, monkfish, and bass—depending on the sale of the week. Serves four.

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