How to Grill and Filet Fresh Branzino | Lavraki
Updated: Jun 9, 2021
One of the most popular dishes at our Greek restaurant was Grilled Branzino. It’s a delicate, mild-flavored white fish that’s very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s plentiful in the waters around Greek and Italy, which is where this dish originated. Grilling Branzino can seem intimidating to a lot of people because they aren’t used to handling whole fish. This is why in today’s episode I’m walking you through to prepare and serve branzino step-by-step so you can see how easy it actually is.
When you go to the fishmonger at your local store ask for a whole branzino that is about 1-pound to serve per person. This may seem like a lot, but since you don’t eat the whole fish it is actually just the right amount. Then ask the fishmonger to cut and filet the fish. This means they will remove the fish guts, scale the outside, and cut the top fin. This is incredibly helpful and is not something you want to do at home!
When you get home you simply prepare the fish by making the lemon olive oil sauce and pouring it all over. Then, you remove the backbone and pin bones like I do in the video. Next, get your grill to very high heat and insert the fish into the fish cage. When you place the fish on the grill don’t move it again for about 7-10 minutes, this gives the skin a chance to crisp up so it won’t stick to the grill.
Once the fish have grilled on both sides bring them back inside and place them on a platter. Pour more ladolemono sauce over the fish and add a generous amount of capers and lemon slices. I also like to garnish it with parsley for a little extra flourish when I’m serving it to friends!
I promise, once you learn how easy it is to prepare branzino that’s whole and fresh you’ll do it all the time. It’s so delicious and perfect for summer. Enjoy!
A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of preparing whole fish. Hopefully this recipe and episode will show you how easy it actually is! This was incredibly popular at our Greek restaurant and is really fun to make in the summer months.
Makes 4 servings
4 lbs branzino (each fish is about 1 pound) scaled and cleaned by the fishmonger
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 - 2 tablespoons capers
Parsley for garnish
Place the branzino on a baking sheet or clean surface for preparation.
Make the sauce by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano
Rub the fish on all sides with a light coating of the sauce. Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper on both sides of the fish.
Bring your grill to high heat.
Place the fish in a grilling cage if you have one and place the fish on the grill and cook it for about 7 minutes per side, or until the skin is really crispy and the fish is cooked through.
Return the fish to the baking sheet or surface to filet it.
Cut the head and tail off of the fish.
To filet it: cut it down the center on one side. Then, use a knife to remove the fin of the fish. Open the fish where you cut it down the center and remove the backbone. Carefully feel around the fish for any remaining bones and remove them.
Transfer the fileted fish to a platter for serving. Sprinkle the remaining lemon sauce over the fish.
Place the lemon wedges on top and sprinkle the fish with the capers and garnish with parsley.
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.658.8659.