One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Broil Fish!

If you’ve been following the Primal plan for any degree of time, you know that fish is a popular part of the diet. It’s tasty, it’s nutritious, and it’s easy to cook.

Yes, that’s right, it’s easy to cook. Especially once you master the art of broiling.

Admittedly, a guide to broiling fish might seem a bit obvious (you know, what with only having to stick it under a broiler) but there’s just so much to keep in mind and sometimes learning to broil can be a bit of a….process (but perhaps not one that finds the fire department knocking on your door).

So, with that in mind, we present some broiling basics:

1. Season fillets with salt and pepper and brush lightly with coconut oil (if you’ve selected a pre-marinated fillet, remove the fish from marinade and let drain).

2. Place fillets on a well-greased broiler pan, and place under a preheated broiler. Here’s the key – if the fish is frozen, you’ll want to place the fish a little further from the heat source (maybe 6 to 8 inches) and cook it for longer (up to 10 minutes on each side). For fresh or thawed fish, place pan closer to the heat source (about 4 inches) and cook anywhere from 2-6 minutes each side.

3. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

While this is a guide, it should be noted that, when it comes to broiling, there are some variables:

•    You will need to adjust cooking times based on your own oven – some ovens, even those from the same manufacturer, are hotter than other.
•    You will need to adjust cooking time based on the size and thickness of the fish fillet.
•    You will need to adjust cooking time based on the type of fish you are using.
•    You will need to adjust cooking times based on your own preference – some people prefer a light broil, while others like it to be a little more well done.
•    Particularly for thawed fish you don’t necessarily have to flip the fish. By not flipping the fillet you will end up with one side slightly crispy and the other nice and juicy.

It may take some time to get this down, but after a few experiments, you should feel comfortable enough with your oven and your skills to simply throw the fish under the broiler, set a timer, and let it go!

Any questions from the audience? Yes, you over there in the green shirt…

Which types of fish are best for broiling?
Since the broiling process can easily dry foods out, broiling is a good cooking method for fattier fish. However, leaner fish can be used provided if it is basted frequently to prevent drying.

I’m using a lean fish…any broiling tips?
According to culinary goddess Julia Child, the best way to broil fish is to blot it dry with paper towels, season it with salt and pepper, and place it in a greased shallow baking dish. Making sure the fish is nice and dry brush it with olive oil and then cover it in white wine or water until the liquid comes up to half of the height of the fish. The fish is then broiled, brushing once or twice with oil, for 6 to 8 minutes or until done.

Should I take the skin off or leave it on?
Really, this one is a matter of personal preference. In general, it’s perfectly ok to leave the skin on the fish, but how appetizing it will be once cooked depends very much on the type of fish you are cooking and how tough the skin is.

Can you offer up a recipe for broiled fish…or even better, a complete meal?

Broiled Fish Fillets on a Bed of Roasted Peppers

Not only is this recipe easy on the eye, it’s also easy on the wallet!

2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and julienned
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and julienned
2 green bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 large bunch oregano, leaves only, coarsely chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Cover and let sit for 4-5 hours to let the flavors develop.  Separate out onto four plates and top with your choice of broiled fish.

Nutrition Analysis:
Courtesy of our friends over at

Calorie: 423 calories
Fat: 31.2 grams (66 percent of calories from fat)
Protein: 26.4 grams (26 percent of calories from protein)
Carbs: 8.7 grams (7 percent of calories from carbs)

Note: Nutritional analysis includes 4 “white fish fillets”

puzzlemepuzzle Flickr Photo (CC)

Share your broiling tips and recipes in the comment board!

Further Reading:

A Primal Blueprint Sample Menu

Perfectly Primal Pepper Recipes

More Primal Recipes!

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