Caribbean jerked red fish

Caribbean jerked red fish

Ben's BBQ Bible
Billy Law

The thing I loved about living in Hackney in London is its cultural diversity. There are Turkish mini-marts, kebab stalls, Chinese restaurants, Vietnamese grocery stores and Nigerian and Ghanaian takeaways. One of the great London foodie landmarks is the Ridley Road Market in Dalston. This recipe is a tribute to the wonderful flavours, sights and sounds of that effervescent market and the fabulous West Indian ingredients available. I especially love the reef fish you can buy there — red fish, rascasse and red snapper, all with lovely white flesh.

When barbecuing a whole fish it can be difficult to turn it over without pulling off half a fillet, as they tend to stick to the grill. I find it’s much easier if you use a fish basket. It’s basically a fish-shaped cage that holds your fish and enables you to turn it while the flames and the heat crisp up the skin, and it also allows you to baste your fish while cooking. It’s a great thing to take along on flshing and camping trips.


Quantity Ingredient
1 whole red snapper or similar red reef fish, scaled and gutted
sunflower oil
lime wedges

Jerk spice

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 cups chopped spring onions
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 scotch bonnet chillies
60ml lime juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice or ground pimento
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place all the jerk spice ingredients in a food processor and purée.
  2. Make diagonal cuts into the skin of the sh. Rub in the marinade and leave for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare your barbecue for direct cooking over a medium–high heat.
  4. Lightly oil the fish basket. Place the fish inside then close and secure the basket. Place over direct heat and cook for 10 minutes on one side, then turn the fish basket over and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. To test if the fish is cooked, push a skewer through the thickest part of the sh. It should pass through without much force.
  6. Serve with lime wedges.
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