I really enjoy having people come over and hanging out on our deck while I cook up dinner on the grill. One of the other things that like to do is serve something that is unexpected so here's my suggestion; try a Japanese Fish Barbeque. The meal is relatively simple to prepare and you get to look like a rock star as you grill right in front of everyone. As soon as the food is ready it comes off the grill and people can dig in. Be sure to wait for the ohs and ahs.....and then just silence because everyone is busy devouring your fish barbeque. The only thing that needs to be prepared away from the grill is the rice. I have also served my Quinoa Pilaf recipe with this meal.
The two kinds of fish that I like for this recipe are salmon and swordfish. Salmon fillets are somewhat firm and have a great flavor on their own. I just enhance that flavor with the marinade. Once you grill the salmon, it looks great because it takes on a nice bright orange color contrasted by the grill marks. Swordfish is a more delicate fish and will play off the salmon. Swordfish grills nicely, the fillets will turn white on the inside, and the outside will be somewhat dark because of marinade and grill marks. Swordfish can be a little tricky on the grill. Just use care when turning the fillets so that they do not break up. Your guests will break them up for you as they devour these flavorful grilled beauties.
A good variety of vegetables can be grilled along with the fish. Some of my favorites are red and green bell peppers, onion, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes and par boiled potatoes. It's really up to you to decide what you would like to grill. Slice the vegetables in pieces that will cook on the grill in roughly to same time that your fish takes to cook, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. However, if you have some pieces that take longer just throw them on the grill in advance.
The nice thing about this meal is that the food will come off the grill in waves; your guests will be sitting around the table finishing up the first wave when you get to bring over the next one. Again wait for the ohs and ahs as you serve them hot salmon and swordfish fillets along with freshly grilled vegetables. You'll even get a chance to sit down and grab a few bites to eat while the fillets and vegetables are cooking. This meal is best served with ice cold sake and beer. If some of your guests aren't big sake fans, white wine will substitute nicely.
So let's get started.....
Japanese Fish Barbeque
*** Salmon Marinade Ingredients***
4 salmon fillets 8oz. each
1 cup teriyaki sauce
3 tblsp minced onion
1 tblsp minced garlic
1 tblsp minced ginger
1/4 cup sake or dry white wine
1/4 cup sweet mirin
1/4 cup peanut oil
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Heat the peanut oil in a small sauce pan; add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 3 minutes or until onion turns translucent. Add the teriyaki sauce, sake or white wine, mirin and bring to boil. Simmer 2 minutes then remove from heat. Add the lemon juice. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the marinade has cooled, place the salmon fillets in a ziploc bag. Reserve 1/2 to 1/3 of the marinade for dipping or later use. Pour the remaining marinade into the ziploc bag with the fillets. Be sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible then seal tightly. Gently turn the bag several times to thoroughly coat the fillets with the marinade. Place the fillets in the refrigerator and marinate 2 to 4 hours.
*** Swordfish Marinade Ingredients***
4 swordfish fillets 8oz. each
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sake or dry white wine
2 tblsp toasted sesame oil
2 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp minced onion
1 tblsp minced garlic
1 tblsp sesame seeds
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
Bring the sake or dry white wine to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the soy sauce, sugar, onion, garlic, honey. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Add the sesame oil, sesame seeds and lemon juice. Stir to incorporate, then allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the marinade has cooled, place the swordfish fillets in a ziploc bag. Reserve 1/2 to 1/3 of the marinade for dipping or later use. Pour the remaining marinade into the ziploc bag with the fillets. Be sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible then seal tightly. Gently turn the bag several times to thoroughly coat the fillets with the marinade. Place the fillets in the refrigerator and marinate 2 to 4 hours.
Grilling the fillets
Pre-heat the grill to 425 degrees. Remove the fillets from the ziploc bags and discard the used marinade. Place the fillets on the hot grill. Do not move the fillets once they are on the grill. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, grill for 2 to 4 minutes. When the fillets are half cooked, gently turn the fillets and grill for another 2 to 4 minutes.
(While grilling the fillets if you look at them from the side you can easily see when the fillets are half way cooked and are ready to be turned.)
Red bell pepper
Green bell pepper
1/4 to 1/3 cup peanut oil
Slice the vegetables into pieces that can be easily grilled, toss the vegetables with the peanut oil, place on hot grill for 3 to 5 minutes until grill marks can be seen on the vegetable pieces. Take care not to overcook the vegetables as they should be slightly firm with nice grill marks.
Serve the salmon, swordfish and vegetables with rice or quinoa pilaf and reserved marinades as dipping sauce.