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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Cassia's whole grilled branzino

Cassia's whole grilled branzino
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

It’s a simple, if dramatic, presentation: A butterflied whole branzino is marinated with turmeric, garlic and spicy Thai chiles just long enough for the flavors to infuse, 30 minutes or so. The fish is then quickly grilled until the skin ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 1 to 2
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) turmeric powder
  • 1 scant tablespoon (10 grams) fish sauce
  • 5 to 6 large cloves (32 grams) garlic
  • 10 to 12 (15 grams) Thai chiles, stemmed
  • Scant 1/2 cup (100 grams) canola oil
  • 1 ¼- 1 ½ pound branzino, vertebrae and bones removed; head and tail intact; butterflied
  • Fresh herbs, such as cilantro, mint, dill, and laksa leaf sprigs, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Olive oil, good quality for finishing

Step 1Using a blender, puree the turmeric, fish sauce, garlic, chiles and oil. Brush the marinade onto the butterflied fish and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse the fish.

Step 2Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Grill the fish, skin-side down, until the skin is brown and blistered, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish over and continue to cook until the flesh is barely cooked through, an additional 2 to 4 minutes.

Step 3Plate the fish, garnishing with the herb sprigs and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately, with lime wedges on the side.

Note: Adapted from Cassia Restaurant in Santa Monica.

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