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Grilled Whole Sea Bream with Sweet Chili Heat Sauce


grilled whole sea bream with sweet chili hear sauce on a bed of grilled pineapple salsa

I’ve noticed that a lot of people can be intimidated by barbecuing a whole fish. I get it, fish is a delicate protein to cook on the bbq and a filet seems much easier to handle, but a grilled whole fish can be so tasty and simple to do, especially on a plancha. In my latest recipe, I do just that, grill up a whole fish on the plancha on the Alchemy Grill. I chose to make Sea Bream (aka Orata), which is a nice flaky white fish that is great to make whole. Sea Bream tend to not be a particularly huge fish, so it’s a pretty manageable choice of fish, especially if this is your first time doing a whole fish on the bbq. I seasoned my Sea Bream with Alchemy Blue Rub and cooked it on the plancha for about 16 minutes total, so about 8 minutes on each side. It really doesn’t take too long to cook through and get a nice, beautiful char on the outside.


While my fish was cooking, I put together a really simple but super flavourful Sweet Chili Heat Sauce. I mixed plum sauce with sambal -- sambal is a chili paste, made from ground chili peppers and other aromatics like garlic, ginger, shallot, sometimes shrimp paste, tamarind or other spices and herbs – seasoned rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. The sauce has a bit of sweetness from the plum sauce and spice from the sambal and is great on a white fish like Sea Bream.


Along with my grilled whole fish, I made a grilled pineapple salsa – grilling the pineapple on the plancha lets the sugars caramelize and brings out the sweetness. I mixed the pineapple with diced red pepper, red onion, fresh cilantro and seasoned it with sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar and chili crisp for some extra crunch and a bit of heat, and then topped my dish off with some chopped green onion. If you want to find out how to make my Grilled Whole Sea Bream with Sweet Chili Heat Sauce keep reading, or click here to jump to the full recipe.


the rind being cut off of a pineapple round

Start by making your pineapple salad. Begin by cutting your pineapple into rounds and then removing the skin from three of them.


pineapple rounds being grilled on the plancha

Place the pineapple rounds on the plancha and let them grill, add a bit of canola oil and keep cooking. Flip after 2-3 minutes and cook on the other side.


diced up grilled pineapple being put in a bowl

Remove from the plancha once nicely charred and caramelized. Dice the grilled pineapple up, making sure to remove the core, and place in a bowl.


sesame oil being added to a bowl of grilled pineapple, red pepper, cilantro and red onion to make grilled pineapple salsa

Chop up your fresh cilantro, red pepper and red onion and add to the bowl. Add in the seasoned rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and chili crisp and stir. Set aside.


green onions cut on a bias in a bowl of ice water

To clean up your fish, cut off the fins and trim the tail. Score both sides of the fish and season with Alchemy Blue Rub.


whole sea bream being seasoned with Alchemy Blue rub

Place the whole fish on the plancha and allow to cook, about 6-8 minutes, then flip. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon on each fish and allow to continue cooking, about another 6-8 minutes.


whole sea bream being grilled on the plancha

While the fish finishes cooking, make your sweet chili sauce by combining the plum sauce, sambal, seasoned rice wine vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl and stirring to combine.


a small bowl with the ingredients to make the sweet chili heat sauce

To plate, add your grilled pineapple salsa to a platter. Place your whole fish on top of the salsa and drizzle with your sweet chili sauce, top with the green onions and enjoy.


the finished platter with grilled pineapple salsa and whole sea bream with sweet chili heat sauce being poured on top

And now for the full recipe...


Grilled Whole Sea Bream with Sweet Chili Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


Ingredients:

2 whole Sea Bream fish (also called Orata)

Alchemy Blue Rub


Grilled Pineapple Salsa:

½ Pineapple

1 red pepper

1/3 red onion

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

2 tbsp chili Crisp

2 tbsp Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar

2 tbsp sesame Oil

2 stalks green onion


Sweet Chili Sauce:

4 tbsp plum sauce

1 tbsp sambal

1 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 tsp soy sauce


How to Make It:


Start by cutting your pineapple into rounds and remove the skin from three of them. Place the pineapple rounds on the plancha and let them grill, add a bit of canola oil and keep cooking. Flip after 2-3 minutes and cook on the other side. Remove from the plancha once nicely charred and caramelized. Dice the grilled pineapple up, making sure to remove the core, and place in a bowl. Chop up your fresh cilantro, red pepper and red onion and add to the bowl. Add in the seasoned rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and chili crisp and stir. Set aside.


Slice your green onions on a bias and place in a bowl of ice water and set aside.


To clean up your fish, cut off the fins and trim the tail. Score both sides of the fish and season with Alchemy Blue Rub. Place the whole fish on the plancha and allow to cook, about 6-8 minutes, then flip. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon on each fish and allow to continue cooking, about another 6-8 minutes.


While the fish finishes cooking, make your sweet chili sauce by combining the plum sauce, sambal, seasoned rice wine vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl and stirring to combine.


To plate, add your grilled pineapple salsa to a platter. Place your whole fish on top of the salsa and drizzle with your sweet chili sauce, top with the green onions and enjoy.


Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss out on a new recipe, follow me on all my social channels @chefmattbasile and check out my new project @alchemygrills for updates, recipes and videos.

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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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