Lemon and Herb Grilled Whole Rockfish

As the climate warms with suggestions of summer season’s approaching arrival, you would possibly find your self itching for a motive to revel in greater of your meals outside. I’ve truly located myself attracted to the grill more and more as of late, and in this situation, I desired a simple meal that felt greater…provençal?

Lemon and Herb Grilled Whole Rockfish
Lemon and Herb Grilled Whole Rockfish


  • 1 whole rockfish (mine was ~3 lbs and yielded approximately 3 servings)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 1/2 sweet/yellow onion
  • handful fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary


Step one: acquire and clean your fish. This means you need to remove the scales, trim the fins, and gut the belly area. Ideally, you can convince your fishmonger/grocery store to do this for you.

Next, very generously oil the fish inside and out. As you warm your grill up to a very high temperature, you should rub the grates with oil–fish can have a tendency to stick to your grill, but a little preparation can make all the difference.

With everything nice and slick, the next thing you should apply liberally to your fish (also inside and out): salt. This is one of those use-more-than-you-think situations–it brings out the briny flavor of the fish in a great way and makes that crisp skin all the more enjoyable in the finished dish. Add some black pepper inside the belly cavity.

Now, chop up your lemon(s) in slices and the onion into pieces. Stuff this along with the herbs into the belly cavity. Expect this to be slightly overflowing–this is fine.

Finally, its time to put the fish on the grill. You will want to cook this over indirect heat, so while you wanted the grill nice and hot, you don’t want the fish sitting directly over the flame as the skin will burn, things will stick, and it will get messy well before the meat is cooked through.

The fish will need approximately 10 minutes of grill time per inch of thickness (internal temperature should reach approximately 145°F) and the fish should only be flipped once. For me, this required approximately 30 minutes of cooking time in total.

Once done grilled, I squeezed a bit more lemon juice on the fish and grated a bit more black pepper on the skin. After that, serve your guests and yourself table-side by simply sliding a spatula in under the gill area and working in a semi-circular motion (don’t plate the aromatics–they’ve served their purpose). A filet should somewhat cleanly present itself you will be able to serve the top half of the fish with ease. Also, don’t forget to pick through the posterior and the cheeks for some more good meat.

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