Piri Piri Grilled Snapper

Have you tried Piri Piri sauce (aka Peri Peri?)  If you haven’t, you are in for a treat.  The flavor of Piri Piri sauce is spicy, garlicky, salty, citrusy, and savory all at the same time.  Piri Piri works as a marinade, a dipping sauce, a cooking sauce, and a serving condiment.  It’s great on pork chops, grilled chicken, and exceptional on rotisserie chickens.  But my absolute favorite way to use it is as a marinade and cooking sauce for my Piri Piri Grilled Red Snapper recipe!

To make this recipe, you’ll need my Piri Piri Sauce recipe.  Don’t worry, it’s easy to make.  If you can’t find fresh African Bird’s eye peppers or Thai chilis, just use a red serrano or two, and adjust for how spicy you like your sauce.   This recipe works well for any whole grilled fish, not just red snapper.  I like to use this when I can find smaller size snappers that will grill quickly.  This will keep the fresh, flavorful sauce at the forefront.

Grilling Whole Fish

I love to cook whole fish, whole chickens, heck, I’ve kind of made my reputation by cooking whole hogs!  I love the association with a more primal feel that grilling whole food brings back.  It’s a throwback to a more primitive, rustic style of cooking.  Grilling whole fish is really easy and will provide a great visual for your dinner.  But, there are a few things that you’ll need to do to prepare for a good grilled fish.  It should go without saying that using the freshest fish possible is of the utmost importance, but I’ll say it anyway.  Get fresh fish.  It’s important.

  1. if you are not marinating the fish, make sure to let it get to room temperature, then pat it dry.  Score the sides and rub thoroughly with olive oil.
  2. make sure your grill grates are clean and oiled.  The temperature for grilling fish is in the “medium-high” range, and don’t try to grill too thick of a fish.  If you have a large fish, you can still grill it, but you’ll need to modify the procedure somewhat to allow it to get cooked through without burning.  Setting up a two-zone fire is the perfect way to do this.
  3. Get a good thermometer.  Fish is done when it reaches 145.  I pull fish from the grill when it reaches 142, and let it rest a few minutes to get up to those last degrees.  Perfectly done every time.
  4. Scoring- generally, the whole fish is scaled, then scored so that the meat will be exposed to that wonderful grill flavor.
  5. If you haven’t grilled fish much, use a grill basket.  You’ll save yourself some heartache.

Piri Piri Grilled Snapper

Depending on how you make your sauce, this dish can have a bite!  I love to serve this with a cool, refreshing watermelon pico, or pineapple salsa.  I love the interplay between the fresh fruit and the bite of the piri piri sauce.  However you do it, you’ll love it.

As always, I hope you enjoy!