This is the fastest grilled fish recipe and it uses Semi Dried Whiting Fillets. The fillets are so thin that it only takes a couple of minutes to cook them. Grilled Whiting Fillets can be a starter, main dish or even served as nibbles with beer, wine, sake, you name it. They are tasty and low calorie.
When it comes to Grilled Whiting, I think that grilled Semi Dried Whiting Fillets are tastier than fresh grilled whiting. Funnily enough, the dried fillets are juicier, too.
Whiting – Low Calorie Fish
Whiting is a low-calorie fish that hardly contains oil, unlike fish like salmon. For example, the fat in whiting is 1/10 of salmon and it has less than half the calories of the salmon.
Because it doesn’t contain much oil, whiting meat tends to become dry when grilled and tastes rather bland. Drying whiting fillets changes the texture and flavour for the better.
I showed you how to make Semi Dried Whiting Fillets in the previous post. This post is all about grilling them to perfection.
Grilling Semi Dried Whiting Fillets
You can grill the whiting fillets on a cook top, a BBQ or in a broiler.
If using the broiler in an oven, you will need a tray with a rack to place the fillets on, or a tray lined with creased aluminium foil (scrunch a piece of aluminium foil, then spread it gently) on which the fillets are placed.
By scrunching aluminium foil, only the small pointy peaks of aluminium foil touch the fish and the fish does not stick to the foil.
If you are grilling on a cook top with a grill pan or on a BBQ, make sure that the grill is pre-heated over high heat. The fish does not stick when placed on a very hot grill.
You could use a frying pan if you don’t have a grill pan. I would suggest that you place creased aluminium foil inside the pan and cook the fillets on it. It will take longer to cook but it can be done.
Also read: Corn on cob with husk on grill
I sometimes use a Japanese fish griller that is placed on a stove top. I wouldn’t cook oily fish this way as the bottom tray has slits and the oil from the fish leaks into the stove. But the whiting has hardly any oil so I am happy to cook it on the stove with the fish griller. You can see the photo of the Japanese fish griller in Japanese Salmon Mirin-zuke).
Which Side to Grill First?
Among Japanese people, it is a common understanding that: If fish is from the sea, cook the meat side of the fillet first and for river fish, cook the skin side first. There are a couple of reasons for this.
- The fish in the sea tends to be oilier than fish in the river. If you cook the skin side first on a tray or a grill pan, the oil beneath the skin gets burnt and when the fillet is turned over, the meat side gets black stains, making it look unclean.
- River fish tends to have a muddy smell. By grilling the skin first, it removes the muddy smell.
In the case of whiting fillets, you don’t need to worry about the oil from the skin burning. I experimented cooking the whiting fillets skin side first as well as the flesh side first.
My conclusion is that the flesh side first is the better way. This is because the skin shrinks as it gets cooked. The fillet curls up and makes it difficult to cook the flesh side.
Only 2 Minutes to Make Grilled Whiting Fillets
Also read: List of 17 best pork shoulder roast recipe
Whiting fillets are so thin that you only need a minute or so to cook one side, then another minute after you turn them over.
You will know when the fish is cooked as you will see a little steam coming up from the blistered skin. Do not overcook it as the meat gets too dry and chewy.
If you plan to serve Grilled Whiting Fillets as a main, you will need to cook many fillets to fill your stomach. My Semi Dried Whiting Fillets weighed about 20g/0.7oz each! But even if you have to cook 20 fillets over two batches, it only takes about 5 minutes! This is another reason why I love this dish so much.
I can just munch them with my favourite wine without needing anything else! I hope you try this.
P.S. Don’t forget to see the section ‘MEAL IDEAS’ below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and the new recipe in this post that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.