Grilled Flying Fish with Tomato Relish

Flying Fish Filets
I grew up eating this Bajan treat and always loved them.  I still have about 30 filets in my freezer (from my vacation fish stash) and was wondering what to do with them, besides frying them.  I do love fried fish, but just felt like something different this time.

Many years ago, on our first trip to Barbados together, my husband and I had the best fish cutter (sandwich) I had ever had.  It was at a place called Cutter's in Worthing, Christchurch (which has long since closed, sadly).  The sandwich consisted of the following:  grilled flying fish, fresh sliced tomato, lettuce, and sliced, pickled onions.  The bread on the sandwich was also grilled.  During this trip we must have stopped at this little shop four times - we were very sad to learn it had closed, but glad we got to experience it.  It says something that I can remember the sandwich after all this time.  Truth be told, I have a very long memory when it comes to food - I can recall a certain rice dish I had when I was three years old - that was deliciously prepared by my Haitian babysitter...mmmm...those meatballs were the best!  If I could track down Mme. Benson...

All of that to say that I was feeling nostalgic and this is what inspired me to make some grilled flying fish.  Here's what I did.

For the fish preparation:
Juice of 1 lime, and the lime
2 tablespoons of coarse salt
1 tablespoon of hot sauce
Cold water

In a large bowl, but the salt, lime juice, the squeezed lime and hot sauce - stir to combine. Put the fish in and coat then fill the bowl with cold water.  Let the fish sit in the mixture for 20 minutes at room temperature.



Next step - prepare the seasoning mix:
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon broadleaf thyme, chopped (if you can't find/don't have this, use the same amount of fresh thyme)
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dry basil or 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red chili flakes
Broadleaf Thyme

Seasoning Mix

Combine all the seasoning ingredients and stuff a small amount between the rows of the fish.  Allow to marinate overnight if possible.  If not, at least 1 hour in the refrigerator, covered. 

For the tomato relish:
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives
1 whole green onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
1/8 cup chicken stock

- Heat olive oil over medium heat then add all the relish ingredients.
- Do not saute the ingredients, simply cook over a low enough heat for a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat until ready to use.


To cook the fish:
- Allow them to come to room temperature - they will cook more evenly
- Heat your grill to high and oil the grill
- Grill the fish - they are small and will take about 2 minutes on the flesh side, then 1 minute on the skin side
- Once off the heat, serve each fish with about 1 tablespoon of the tomato relish


Served with plain white rice and sauteed zucchini and peppers.

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