Josh Niland’s Salt and Vinegar Whole Coral Trout
A few points here.
We used Rainbow Trout here and whilst it is likely a distance from the turbot Josh Niland originally cited as his inspiration for this dish, I think it is an acceptable distance.
Fish over charcoal is always just bloody brilliant. The addition of the salt and vinegar spray misted over whilst we cooked was just an incredible touch.
Nat served it with a celeriac slaw and my goodness, this was two-hat simplicity. Just sublime. Sublime.
We should have dried the skin more and that would have seriously changed the profile. Next time.
The concept was not lost how good this simple approach to BBQing fish really could be.
1 x 1kg whole coral trout, gutted and pin boned
1/4 c best-quality seaweed vinegar or white wine vinegar (not too sweet)
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
- About 45 minutes before grilling, remove the coral trout from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
- In a spray bottle fitted with a misting nozzle, shake together the vinegar, olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Set aside.
- For the charcoal grill, make sure the grill is hot and the charcoal has cooked down to hot embers. Divide the coals across the floor to create a cooler side and a more intense side of the grill.
- Season the coral trout liberally with salt flakes, then either securely skewer lengthways, or place it in a grilling basket; set it over the hot side of the grill. Cook until the skin begins to blister slightly, about 4 minutes, then carefully tun the fish over and cook for another 4 minutes, generously misting the first blistered side with about one-third of the vinaigrette as you go.
- Flip the trout back over, and cook the first side for 3 – 4 minutes until the skin is well blistered and the flesh is opaque, misting the second side with half the remaining vinaigrette. The fish is ready when the skin is evenly coloured and the internal temperature registers 44c on a probe thermometer.
- Remove the coral trout from the grill and rest on a large serving platter for 8 – 10 minutes, then spoon over the remaining vinaigrette.
- Carve the trout, discarding the spine and reserving the collar and head, and transfer the fillets to serving plates. Pour the resting juice from the serving platter into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking to form a glaze. Spoon the glaze over the fillets and serve right away.