9 of the best marinades from around the world for your BBQ fish

9 of the best marinades from around the world for your BBQ fish

Unlike meat, fish marinades require just a few minutes to infuse your fresh catch with irresistible flavours and enhance its grilled texture. The beauty of marinades lies in a zingy spice blend mixed in citrus juice or oil to create a melt-in-the mouth fish centre with fresh aromas and a delicate crispy coating.
Due to its delicate texture, the fish will absorb the marinade quickly, allowing you to enjoy the versatility of a fresh fish and add an exciting new twist to your BBQ experience. Time to take your tastebuds on a journey around the globe!
Here are our top 9 marinade from around the world to experiment with and help you embark on a culinary adventure this summer:

1. Citrus Herb Marinade: This classic Mediterranean mix combines lemon, lime, or orange juice with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and thyme. It’s popular for its vibrant flavour that complements the natural taste of fresh fish. Avoid leaving strong citrus-based marinades on filleted fish for more than 15 minutes or whole fish for more than 1 hour, as the citrus acid will start to cook the fish ceviche-style. Check out our recipe for grilled mackerel marinated in an orange and rosemary-spiced mix.

2. Harissa Marinade: This Asian-inspired marinade mixes soy sauce, fresh ginger, and garlic to add a fragrant and savoury flavour to your fish. It’s great for fish like mackerel or sea bass, or for fish skewers. Add a touch of honey for a subtle sweet note. Try this recipe for grilled sea bream smothered in sweet and fiery harissa paste.

3. Soy Ginger Marinade: To make an Asian-inspired marinade, simply mix soy sauce, fresh ginger, and garlic to add a fragrant and savoury flavour to your fish. It's a great choice for fish like mackerel or sea bass​, or for fish skewers. You can also add a touch of honey to the mix for subtle sweet note. Find our recipe for Honey soy & lemon marinated BBQ fish skewers on the recipe blog.

4. Tandoori Marinade: Inspired by Indian cuisine, blend turmeric, cumin, garam masala, ginger, garlic, and coriander with a touch of sea salt and olive oil to infuse your fish with this aromatic paste. We love this recipe which adds a touch of yoghurt to balance the spices.

5. Shawarma Marinade: Traditionally used for rotisserie meats, it's a popular marinade for street food in the Middle East, but it works well on meaty fish fillets that hold bold flavours like turbot steaks or monkfish steaks, as well as whole fish like seabass. Find our fillet recipe here and whole seabass version to BBQ.

6. Thai Curry Marinade: Make a red or green curry paste (or use a shop-bought one and whisk it with some vegetable oil) to rub into the cavities of your scored fish and its exterior before letting it marinate for 1 hour. Here is an authentic step-by-step recipe or you can adapt Jamie Oliver's here to sizzle on the BBQ.

7. Cajun Marinade: Inspired by New Orleans, this bold and seriously spicy rub flavours whole fish or fillet steaks. The key is in the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, which you can adjust to your taste or up as recommended by Oliver here for prime fish steaks - especially our chunky turbot steaks.

8. Achiote Marinade: Known as Tikin Xic in Mexico, this marinade uses achiote paste (a mix of annatto seeds, cumin, pepper, coriander, oregano, cloves, and garlic) with lime juice and is ideal for grilling whole fish. It provides a tangy, slightly spicy flavour and is traditionally used with fish like red mullet or seabass, butterflied. Find Rick Bayles, achiote-grilled fish recipe here. 

9. Coconut & lime marinade: fFor a tropical touch, mix fresh coriander, half a can of coconut milk, lime juice and zest, minced garlic clove, grated ginger, and optional soy sauce (for added depth) and chilies (for heat) to marinate your fish seasoned with salt and pepper. This also goes well with meaty tiger prawn which you can thaw and part-peal to marinade before grilling on skewers.

A few extra tips here to hit BBQ gold:
  • always marinate the fish in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth
  • balance acidic ingredients like citrus juice with oil in your marinade
  • always start with a preheated grill, cleaned and oiled grates, to avoid sticking
  • never place your fish over a high heat, it cooks best on the medium-hot part 
  • for fillets (rather than a whole fish), start off cooking skin-side down
  • only turn the fish when the skin is crisp and golden as it comes off easily
  • you can check your fish is cooking inside by poking it with a toothpick for a couple of seconds and bringing it to your lip to check it's warm
  • your fish is cooked when you can flake the flesh easily with a fork
Pick your favourite catch from our freshly-landed day boat fish selection or one of our sustainable set boxes for best value and freshness to enjoy in one sitting or over the course of your weekend. All our products can be stored for 3 days in the fridge and our boxes feature the freshest catch for you to store in your fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for longer.
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