Grilled Whole Sea Bass

What better way to christen a badass new Wolf grill than with two beautiful whole fish! Answer: there isn’t one.

My grandmother’s house in Sag Harbor, Long Island is a meeting place for my family. On the weekends we migrate out, raid the local farmer’s markets, and split our time between tanning on the beach and kicking ass in the kitchen. In my family cooking is a team sport.

The old grill had been loved to a point in which there was a 50/50 chance that it would blow up in your face each time it was lit. Typically that’s a sign it should be replaced. My uncle put himself in charge of finding a new one which was just installed. This isn’t just any grill. It’s a gas-powered power house complete with sear zone, ceramic briquettes, warming station, and rotisserie. Every grill should have a rotisserie.

We decided to test it with a simple classic that, when done right, can be one of the yummiest things in summer – grilled whole fish. While you can put the fish directly on the grill, I am not a fan of that for two reasons. First, it is more likely to become dry as the juices can easily escape rather than staying trapped inside. Second, you can’t stuff if with yummy things as they would all fall out.

This recipe was delicious and truly a team effort. I highly recommend serving it with sweet corn, couscous, and a salad with an acidic vinaigrette. An alternative is grilling is to bake the fish at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes.


Grilled Whole Sea Bass (Serves 4) 

2 1.5-2lb Sea Bass, descaled and cleaned

2 shallots, sliced very thinly

1 large heirloom tomato, seed scooped out and diced

+/- 1/3 cup calamata olives, pitted and chopped coarsely

2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 lemons, one sliced thinly and the other cut into wedges for garnish

olive oil



  1. Make the grill super hot!
  2. Lay 2 large sheets of tin foil out. Rinse fish and lay one out on each sheet.
  3. Sauté shallots in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Lower heat an add tomatoes stirring slowly but constantly. After 2-3 minutes, before tomatoes start to break down, stir in thyme, parsley, and olives. Season and remove from heat.
  4. Gently fill the cavity of each fish with the shallot and tomato mixture. Stuff in lemon slices. Fold tinfoil over the fish tenting it slightly to trap steam and close the ends tightly.
  5. The general rule is to cook a fish for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. Gently place the fish onto the grill so that it is getting indirect heat, close the hood, and cook for 1/2 of suggested cooking time.
  6. Flip carefully using 2 spatulas and cook for the remaining time.
  7. Remove from heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  8. To serve, either bring the fish to the table whole and allow guests to serve themselves by flaking the fish off of the bone or pre-plate with one side of fish per person plus stuffing. Be sure warn guests of pin bones as they are easy to miss when serving!

One thought on “Grilled Whole Sea Bass

  1. Pingback: BBQ Chicken Dry Rub | PippaCooks

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