Firstly, I’ve just cut off the fins, cleaned and gutted it, and washed it with water. To prep it, it should be scaled, the tail is trimmed.
What is important is to do some insertions, you do a slant, rather than straight to the bone.
Slant on the fish. Three is enough on each side. The reason I do it is because when I do the marination it needs to go inside the flesh and inside the body.
You need to bear in mind that you need to have a sharp knife, if you don’t have a sharp knife you might end up rupturing the skin.
Make sure that the fish is free from any moisture – moisture in the fish will allow it to stick to the grill.
First thing first – lemon juice, salt.
I’m making sure that the salt and the lemon juice are evenly spread on the entire body of the fish.
Now ginger and garlic paste, equal amounts of ginger and garlic – they basically help to move out the fish flavour.
When you keep the fish outside for a while, the fish will inherit some form of an oxidised flavour.
So what you do is without rubbing it directly on the fish, you make an emulsion of ginger and garlic, chilli powder, some fresh chopped chillies for actual heat, chopped ginger, chopped coriander and oil to emulsify everything.
You don’t want the fish to be damaged with rigorous handwork.
Now you rub it on the opposite side rub it inside. This is so that you have everything properly mixed with the fish.
These are coriander stalks – the stems have the maximum flavours – and some garlic.
The good thing about putting coriander and garlic inside the belly of the fish is when it gets heated up on the grill, the garlic and coriander gives a beautiful flavour from within the fish.
Now we’ll take one of them, and keep the rest on the side. At this stage, we’ll add a bit more oil, the nature of the oil is that it will act as a shield between the grill and the meat so it does not stick.
What we need to have in mind is to leave the fish marinated on the plate for some time so that whatever excess moisture that is extracted from the fish is on the plate only before we put it on the grill so there is minimum water or moisture within the fish.
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