Smoked Sea Bass

Sometimes thought to not have a place on the BBQ, be that because it is either too bland or disasters have happened where the fish sticks to the grill and falls apart when you flip it resulting in the use of tin foil.  You then end up with “steamed fish”.

Many also do not think highly of cockles but fry these in butter and you won’t look at them in the same light again.

Here we show you how simple it is to produce quality smoked fish above an open flame.

The Key to this cook is OIL, SALT, LEMON

Whilst you are cooking your ingredients, place some oiled sourdough onto the open flame and char off along with your lemons, If eating with your hands you will need some kitchen towels…..

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Preparation Time

15 Minutes

Cooking Time

15 – 20 Minutes




  • 2 x Whole Sea Bass ( These don’t have to be limited to the Deli Counter, Sainsbury’s and Tesco both will sell whole fish in Bags)
  • 70G Samphire (Again Tesco and Sainsburys both do this)
  • 1 Jar Cockles (Does not need to be fresh)
  • 3 x Lemons unwaxed
  • Coarse Sea Salt (just keep a pack to hand – We will not be measuring)
  • 20G Butter for cooking
  • Olive oil or Chilli infused olive oil
  • Sourdough Bread for a Side (Optional)


For the Fish

  • Your BBQ should already be lit and up to temperature, (It is important to distribute your white coals from a hot central pile to a long bed with plenty of gaps between the coals. This will give you even heat.)
  • The fish should have already come prepared.
  • Generously oil the inside and outside of the fish
  • Slice 3 diagonal slices across the skin of both sides of the fish
  • Generously Salt the inside and outside of the fish, Pushing the salt into the slits you just made
  • Slice a lemon and place 2 – 3 slices inside the fish, Cut them in half if you have to but you want the flavour of the lemons to distribute during the cook.
  • Place your fish in a fish basket or rack big enough to not squash your fish or crush it in any way.
  • Cook at a distance of about 5 – 6 Inches for around 6 – 7 Minutes, During the cook, squeeze some lemon onto the fish  (Cooking with the Lid on helps with the cooking time)
  • Turn your fish basket and cook the other side for around 6 – 7 Minutes and squeeze another round of fresh lemon. (No harm in lifting the basket to have a peek at the stages of the cook)
  • Remove fish from the heat and keep warm (Either on an oiled rack lined with foil inside the grill or wrapped in foil. You are looking to keep this warm only for a maximum of 5 – 7 minutes.

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Tip: During your cook, just press the fish through the grill basket, loosening up the fish to keep it from sticking to the griddle. The generous oil coating should have prevented this.

For the Samphire

Whilst you are cooking the samphire, Oil some sourdough and place it close to the fire along with 2 – 4 halves of your remaining lemons, You are looking to char these off ready for garnishing.

  • Heat an open pan over the fire and add your butter
  • Add your samphire to the pan (Do not worry about seasoning as they are salty enough)

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  • Add in your jar of cockles
  • fry for 2 – 3 minutes maximum keeping it moving until soft.
  • Remove from the Heat and serve

Bring everything together on plates and enjoy. If you are eating this around a campfire, have some paper towels to hand, even if your not a great lover of fish we are confident you will love this.

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