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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19 thoughts on “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Broil Fish!”

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  1. Thanks for the tips on broiling. I know this may seem basic to most people, but some of us are real beginners when it comes to cooking. As always, thanks for the recipe as well! Between you and SoG I’m eating better everday 🙂

    have a great weekend,


  2. I like the grill, the wife love the broiler. I tend to prefer broiled red meats to broiled fish. Good tips Mark!

    The SoG

  3. that picture is making me hungry… guess i know what i’m eating tonight!

  4. My wife makes a pretty tasty salmon using a cast iron skillet on the stove top. I have some frozen sockeye fillets–I might experiment with the broiler this evening.


    The above is a link to a site that gives a ton of good info on what fish are safe to eat how often, and also what amounts of omega 3 are in different fish. Mmmm I had broiled trout last night, I’m lucky to live walking distance from one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world. Stuff a whole trout with lemon slices, and red onion brush with oliive oil sea salt and pepper. Throw some more lemon and onion on top and broil away!!

  6. Personally, I’m a big fan of mixing melted butter with a bunch of fresh herbs, brushing each piece of fish and then broiling it.

  7. Another great, quick way to cook fish is in the microwave! I use liberal amounts of garlic power for seasoning, cover the plate with plastic wrap and it’s done in a matter of minutes.

  8. I broke out my salmon fillets to test the broiler method but I was intercepted by Mrs. C. who insisted on cooking them for me in her preferred range top method. They were delicious so I guess I can’t complain. The broiler will have to wait for another day! 🙂

  9. How did you know what I was going to eat tonight? Only this side of the Herring Pond we call this grilling! Salmon broiled on one side until nearly done, then turned over to crisp the skin and make it easy to remove. With some toasted almonds and boiled (briefly) spinach.

    The peppers (and garlic and chillies) come later, with prawns after mother has gone to bed (she can’t eat shellfish so I have her share too)

  10. I usually cook a large salmon fillet in a convection oven with the skin side up. The skin protects the fillet from drying up, and it peels off easily when done.

  11. Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site accidentally, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.