5 Ingredients or Fewer

Grilled Whole Branzino with "Greek Fish Sauce"

June 15, 2015
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

My brother-in-law is Greek and he is a major food lover and fantastic cook. In particular, with his Greek heritage, he loves all things lemony and bright. Over time, he introduced us to what we now call "Greek Fish Sauce": A lemony, garlicky fresh sauce that we pour over grilled fish (see my note in the instructions on how much lemon you should use depending on your personal tastes for lemon). This recipe is something that we have as a default now in our family for alfresco dining. We can regularly get fresh whole branzino here now—it is farmed and gains a sweet flavor from the shrimp it eats. The fish is sustainable and cooks so easily on the grill. I recommend a fish grilling basket for easy flipping. —meganvt01

Test Kitchen Notes

I'm a sucker for grilled branzino and this one didn't disappoint. The flesh was light and flaky and the dressing had good flavor. —mitschlag

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes one fish (usually serves 2 people)
  • For the whole grilled fish
  • 1 whole branzino (ask your fishmonger to scale and gut it)
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • Olive oil for drizzing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • "Greek Fish Sauce"
  • 1 juicy lemon
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin ollive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Prepare your fish: Salt and pepper the fish on the exterior and interior. Stuff the fish cavity with oregano and lemon slices. Drizzle the outside of the fish with olive oil.
  2. Make your fish sauce: Combine all the ingredients above. Season to taste with salt and pepper. A note on the lemon—I say "one juicy lemon," but I have learned with a Greek brother-in-law (and my husband who doesn't like sour things) that the ratio of lemon to oil in this recipe can be highly variable and depends on your taste. I like mine in approximately the classic vinaigrette ratio of 1 part lemon to 3 parts olive oil. Let the sauce stand while you grill the fish.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium-high whether using gas or charcoal. Cook the fish for approximately 5 minutes per side or until you can place a knife in the fish and the meat flakes away along the top of the fish. The flesh should be opaque. Serve with fish sauce and, if you have some Greeks to dinner, some extra lemon wedges :).

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Recipe by: meganvt01

After spending years in school while working full time, I'm happy to finally have my evenings pursuing my other passion, cooking! I have a 4 year old boy and a husband that are both adventurous eaters and supportive tasters. I spend a good bit of my vacation travel preparation researching local and regional foods and my friends all make fun of my food obsession. I've always been pretty confident with my techniques cooking from recipes but I am enjoying Food52's challenge of putting those techniques to work for my own versions of my favorite foods. I love to learn and the group of people that contribute to this site are a great resource. As an Annapolis native, I love to cook with our local produce and seafood whenever possible. I try to support our community of fisherman, farmers, other food producers and chefs as much as possible.