Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce Recipe

If you’re a seafood lover like me, the recipe you’re about to read will become one of your all-time favorites. Imagine the perfect blend of zesty and tangy flavors, with a touch of heat that elevates every bite. Yes, we’re talking about grilled whole fish in chile, garlic, and mint sauce. This dish is an explosion of flavor that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Grilling a whole fish may sound intimidating at first, but this recipe is surprisingly easy to follow. As an assistant for a BBQ chef, I’ve learned that grilled whole fish is one of the most satisfying meals for any barbecue gathering. It’s easy to serve and share among family and friends while impressing them with your cooking skills. Trust us; once you’ve mastered this recipe, your guests will be begging for more!

The star of this dish is the chile, garlic, and mint sauce – it’s what takes this meal to the next level. Our sauce’s ingredients are simple yet flavorful: green chilies, garlic cloves minced to taste, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, sea salt & black pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil. This combination offers a great contrast between the freshness of the herbs and the pungency of the chiles.

So get ready to take your taste buds on a journey they’ll never forget! In this recipe article, we’ll guide you through all the steps needed to create this mouth-watering masterpiece – grilled whole fish in chile, garlic, and mint sauce.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce
Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce

If you’re an avid lover of seafood, particularly fish dishes, then you’re in for a treat with this grilled whole fish in chile, garlic and mint sauce recipe. Not only is this dish mouth-wateringly delicious, but it’s also easy to make with minimal effort required.

What makes this recipe a standout is the generous use of fresh herbs and spices like mint leaves, garlic and green chilies, which give the fish a distinctive flavour and aroma. The combination of these ingredients creates a sweet and tangy taste that will tantalize your taste buds.

Moreover, preparing this dish is perfect for those summer barbecues or outdoor gatherings as it will mesmerize your guests with its splendid aroma and presentation. The sauce can act as the perfect dip that goes perfectly with anything from grilled vegetables to crab cakes.

To top it off, this recipe offers a healthy twist to your regular fish dishes, thanks to the use of olive oil instead of butter or cream. Olive oil has proven health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering bad cholesterol levels and promoting healthy digestion.

In conclusion, we believe you’ll love this recipe because it blends quality fresh ingredients with flawless cooking techniques to produce a dish that anyone would love. Whether it’s a dinner party or an outdoor barbecue, this grilled whole fish recipe provides a delectable centerpiece to delight your guests or indulge yourself anytime!

Ingredient List

 Watch out, folks! This smoky and spicy grilled fish is about to make your taste buds dance!
Watch out, folks! This smoky and spicy grilled fish is about to make your taste buds dance!

The Ingredients to Create This Flavor-Packed Dish

For our Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce Recipe, you will need the below-listed ingredients that are available throughout the year.


  • Whole fish: This recipe calls for a whole fish, such as a Branzino, Sea Bass or Snapper. Select a fish that is fresh and firm with clear eyes.

  • Green chilies: The unique richness of green chilies applied in this recipe gets balanced by the freshness of the mint leaves.

  • Garlic clove: A powerful ingredient in this recipe, garlic’s pungent flavor adds depth, while its mellow sweetness reduces once grilled.

  • Mint: Fresh mint complement’s lower culinary heat with an intense menthol aroma providing distinct, cooling flavors.

  • Flat leaf parsley: Complementing mint’s freshness with a mild herbaceous flavor.

  • Tomatoes: Just adding few ripe tomatoes brings extra tartness to the dish.

  • Lime slices: Lime juice squeezed over the fish before grilling and freshly sliced limes to squeeze over before serving adds much-needed acidity to cut through rich fish oils.

  • Extra virgin olive oil: Along with herbs and spices, Extra virgin olive oil is a perfect way to impart flavor on fish while also preventing it from sticking to the grill’s surface.

  • Sea salt and black pepper: A must-have pantry staple for seasoning any food. In this recipe, it is used generously over fish to increase its taste.

Once all essential ingredients have been compiled, it’s time to get started creating a sumptuous Grilled Whole Fish in Chile Garlic and Mint Sauce Recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Get your cameras ready to snap some pics of this beautifully cooked whole fish drizzled with delicious Chile, Garlic, and Mint Sauce.
Get your cameras ready to snap some pics of this beautifully cooked whole fish drizzled with delicious Chile, Garlic, and Mint Sauce.

To make this grilled whole fish in chile, garlic and mint sauce recipe, you will need one medium sized whole fish, preferably sea bass or branzino, with the head and tail left on. Begin by cleaning and scaling the fish thoroughly. Make 3-4 diagonal slits on each side of the fish.

Step 1: Prepare the Chile Garlic Mint Sauce

Combine 2 finely chopped green chilies, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Mix well and season with black pepper and sea salt to taste.

Step 2: Stuff the Cavity

Stuff the cavity of the fish with slices of 1 lemon, fresh mint leaves and 1 sliced chili pepper. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top of the fish.

Step 3: Grill the Fish

Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Once heated, brush some oil over the grates. Place the fish on a hot grill for about 4-6 minutes per side. Keep flipping until it’s cooked through.

Step 4: Prepare Dipping Sauce

While your fish is cooking on the grill, prepare a dipping sauce for serving with it. Mix together 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt with half of the prepared Chile Garlic Mint Sauce from step 1.

Step 5: Serve

Once your grilled whole fish is done cooking, place it on a platter and drizzle with more of the Chile Garlic Mint Sauce on top. Garnish with slices of lemon, freshly chopped parsley and diced tomatoes. Serve your grilled whole fish alongside your prepared dipping sauce from step 4.

This dish is a perfect balance between spice, tanginess, freshness and complexity that any seafood lover would appreciate!

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't be intimidated by the process of grilling a whole fish. Follow these simple steps and become the grill master of your neighborhood.
Don’t be intimidated by the process of grilling a whole fish. Follow these simple steps and become the grill master of your neighborhood.

Grilled whole fish in chile, garlic and mint sauce is a versatile recipe that can be adapted based on your personal preferences or the ingredients available in your pantry. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Fish fillet: If you don’t have access to whole fish, you can use fish fillets instead. Snapper fillets or sea bass fillets work well with this recipe.

– Different herbs: Mint adds a refreshing flavor to the sauce, but you can also experiment with other herbs like cilantro or parsley. Flat-leaf parsley can be used as a substitute for mint if you prefer milder flavors.

– Chile pepper: Green chilies bring a mild heat to the sauce, but if you like spicier foods, you can use hotter varieties like jalapeño or serrano peppers. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra kick.

– Lime juice: Fresh lemon juice is a good substitute for lime juice if you don’t have any on hand. You can also use orange juice for a sweeter taste.

– Grilling method: While the recipe calls for grilling the fish, you can also cook it in the oven at 400°F (205°C) for 15-20 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. Alternatively, you can pan-fry the fish in olive oil over medium-high heat until crispy and golden brown.

– Dipping sauce: The chile, garlic and mint sauce is delicious as a dipping sauce for grilled fish, but it can also be used as a flavorful dressing for salads or roasted vegetables. You can also try other dipping sauces like salsa verde or chimichurri for variation.

Overall, this recipe is versatile enough to accommodate different tastes and dietary restrictions. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 This dish is perfect for family get-togethers, BBQ parties or any special occasion.
This dish is perfect for family get-togethers, BBQ parties or any special occasion.

This grilled whole fish recipe with chile garlic mint sauce is a show-stopping dish that will impress your guests. It’s perfect for outdoor barbeques, dinner parties, or even just a casual weekend family meal. The fish is served whole and topped with the delicious garlic mint sauce, which adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick.

To serve it, garnish the fish with some freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, sliced tomatoes and lemon wedges for a beautiful presentation. The parsley adds some greenery to the dish while the tomatoes provide an acidic flavor that pairs well with the tanginess of the sauce.

As for pairing, this dish is versatile and can go well with many sides. If you’re going for a Mediterranean-inspired theme, serve it alongside some grilled vegetables such as eggplant, red peppers, or zucchini. Another great option is to create a salad with fresh greens and herbs such as arugula, spinach, and basil – this will balance out the richness of the dish with some refreshing elements.

If you prefer more Asian flavors, pair it with some steamed rice noodle or jasmine rice and top it off with a side of stir-fried bok choy or gailan (Chinese broccoli). The freshness of these vegetables complements the spiciness of the sauce very well.

Don’t forget about drinks! A crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio works great with grilled fish dishes. On the other hand, if you’re going for something non-alcoholic, lemonade or iced tea will perfectly complement this meal.

Overall, this grilled whole fish recipe is incredibly flavorful and versatile when it comes to serving and pairing options. Let your creativity shine through and create your own unique twist on this amazing dish.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Take a bite of this zesty and flavorful dish, and you will travel to the streets of any coastal town in South America.
Take a bite of this zesty and flavorful dish, and you will travel to the streets of any coastal town in South America.

While this dish is best enjoyed fresh off the grill, it is possible to prepare parts of it ahead of time. You can make the chile, garlic and mint sauce up to 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. To reheat the sauce, simply warm it up in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

As for grilling the whole fish, you can season and stuff the cavity of the fish with herbs and spices a few hours before grilling. This will help to infuse flavor into the fish while it marinates in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to grill, remove the fish from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

If you find yourself with leftovers, don’t worry – they make for a delicious next-day meal. Store any leftover grilled whole fish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place the fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes.

The chile, garlic and mint sauce also makes an excellent dipping sauce for other seafood dishes like shrimp or scallops. Just keep any extra sauce stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Remember, quality cannot be compromised when storing cooked seafood. Ensure cooked seafood is quickly refrigerated or frozen after cooking as improper storage can lead to foodborne illness.

Tips for Perfect Results


Grilling fish can be a tricky task, but here are some tips to ensure perfect results:

First of all, make sure your grill is hot enough. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat before placing the fish on it. This will help prevent sticking and ensure an even cook.

Another important tip is to oil your fish instead of the grill grates. Rub your fish with a little bit of olive oil or any other neutral oil before placing it on the grill. This will help prevent sticking and give you those beautiful grill marks.

Pay attention to the timing when grilling whole fish. It usually takes around 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of the fish. You can also gauge doneness by checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The ideal temperature for fish is 145°F.

For added flavor, you can stuff the cavity of your whole fish with fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary or parsley, citrus slices like lemon or lime, or even aromatics like garlic or ginger.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your dipping sauces! The Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce Recipe provided pairs perfectly with this grilled whole fish recipe or try making your own chimichurri or salsa verde for a different flavor profile.

Lastly, allow your cooked fish to rest for a few minutes before you serve it. Cover the fish with foil and let it sit for about 5 minutes after removing it from the grill. This will lock in moisture and make sure your fish stays tender and juicy.

Follow these tips and you’ll be grilling up delicious whole fish in no time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce recipe is a fantastic addition to any BBQ menu. Its unique combination of ingredients creates a tantalizing fusion of flavors that is sure to impress even the most refined palate. Not only that, it’s also a healthy alternative to traditional fried or breaded options.

Whether you’re serving up this dish as the main attraction or as a side dish, your family and guests are bound to be impressed by the rich aroma and succulent flavor of the fish grilled to perfection with its tangy chile garlic mint sauce. And with easy-to-follow instructions, substitutions, and variations provided in this recipe article, anyone can enjoy this delicious meal in no time.

So next time you’re planning a backyard barbecue or weekend cookout, be sure to add this Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce recipe to your list of menu items. Give it a try and watch your guests rave about your culinary skills! Bon appetit!

Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce

Grilled Whole Fish in Chile, Garlic and Mint Sauce Recipe

I’m really liking the fish with mint recipes I’ve encountered so I was jazzed to see this recipe in The Times-Picayune. I have another nice pink snapper in the fridge (catch of the day) & plenty of mint & fish peppers to work with from the garden. The Times-Picayune attribute this recipe to "Mediterranean Hot and Spicy" by Aglaia Kremezi (Broadway Books, $19.95) – full of flavorful fresh dishes from around the Mediterranean Sea. This recipe is from a restaurant in Jaffa, Israel.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 275.8 kcal


  • 2 -4 fresh green chilies, minced, to taste
  • 1 -2 garlic clove, minced, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons mint, chopped fresh (1 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 4 -5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, fruity, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1 whole head-on fish, about 1 1/2 pounds, suitable for grilling, cleaned, such as sea bream, porgy, gray mullet
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, ripe fresh, finely diced, peeled and seeded, drained
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped fresh


  • Mix chiles, garlic, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Add a little salt; mix thoroughly; then taste and adjust the seasonings. The sauce should be hot. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
  • Light a charcoal grill or preheat a broiler. Salt the fish inside and out and place on a well-oiled grill about 5 inches from the heat. Broil or grill, turning once, until firm and almost done, about 15 minutes total. Remove from heat and cover with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Mix sauce with the chopped tomato. Serve the fish with the sauce on the side, or cut the fish open, remove the central bone, and transfer the fillets to a heat-proof platter. Pour half the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with some pepper, and place under a very hot broiler for a few seconds before serving, sprinkled with the parsley. Pass the rest of the sauce separately.0.



Serving: 146gCalories: 275.8kcalCarbohydrates: 8.7gProtein: 1.8gFat: 27.3gSaturated Fat: 3.8gSodium: 11mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Easy, Middle Eastern
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.