Fire-grilled fish and seafood

Fire-grilled fish and seafood

My Italian Kitchen
Chris Middleton

Fresh seafood is often at its best when cooked simply. One of my favourite ways of cooking fish and other seafood is just grilled over a fire or barbecue with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It’s quick and easy, and the simple, honest flavours are magnificent. In this recipe, I use a basic but delicious marinade to complement the fish and seafood. Some people are nervous about cooking with seafood, as sometimes the preparation can be a little tricky. Your local fishmonger can always do this for you – it may cost a little extra, but it’s often really worthwhile.


Quantity Ingredient
2 long red chillies, finely diced
150g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
60ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for coating
sea salt flakes
4 squid
2 baby snapper, cleaned and scored, (or any other small ocean fish)
12 king prawns, kept whole
12 sardines, cleaned and gutted
6 baby octopus
6 scampi
6 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Heat your barbecue or open-fire grill.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the chilli, parsley, garlic and olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This will be your marinade to baste over some of the seafood as it is cooking.
  3. To clean the squid, gently pull the tentacles away from the tube (the intestines should come away at the same time). Remove the intestines from the tentacles by cutting under the eyes, then remove the beak if it remains in the centre of the tentacles by using your fingers to push up the centre. Pull away the quill (the transparent cartilage) from inside the body and remove. Remove and discard any white membrane. Under cold running water pull away the skin from the tube. Cut the squid into rings, keeping the tentacles and wings.
  4. Coat all the fish and seafood with a touch of oil to prevent them from sticking while cooking.
  5. The baby snapper are going to take the longest to cook, around 4–5 minutes on each side, so place the fish on the hot barbecue or grill first.
  6. Once the fish has about 4 minutes to go and has been turned, place all the other seafood onto the barbecue or grill, and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Baste the prawns, sardines, squid, octopus and scampi with the marinade while cooking. You can use a knife to check if everything is cooked through. Just make a slit into the thickest part of each piece of seafood to ensure it’s ready.
  7. Once cooked, place all the seafood onto a large platter and serve with lemon wedges.


  • Scoring the fish ensures it cooks more evenly, and allows the flavours to get into the flesh to give the dish a much more complex flavour.
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