Monday, June 10, 2013

Something Fishy

Years ago, so long that I don't want to mention the date (okay, decades), I read a fascinating recipe for cooking fish. It may have been from the Miami Herald, but I'm not sure anymore. I don't recall any of the ingredients, only the method of cooking -- in the dishwasher. I kid you not. The fish was tightly wrapped in aluminum foil and run through a wash cycle. Without detergent, of course. No drying.

The idea was that the steam cooked the fish. That crazy notion has stayed with me. I have never tried it, though. There's something about cooking fish in the dishwasher that just seems wrong to me. Plus, my dishwasher has a fairly long cycle. It seems like the fish would be overcooked. And I don't want to think about what would happen if the aluminum foil opened.

The principle appeals to me, though, and I read with great interest when Sheila blogged about baking fish over a pan of water. Then I grilled a turkey breast over a pan of water. You see where I'm going, don't you?

Yes, I wrapped a piece of boring cod in aluminum foil and steamed it over water on the grill. And it was the moistest, flakiest fish ever. We eat cod about once a week, and I have a feeling we'll be preparing it this way often.

You can mix and match your favorite spices and herbs. I think cumin is next on my list. If you're a dill lover, try adding a sprig of dill. Use a firm fish. I think you could do it with something as soft as tilapia, but check it after about 10 minutes because thin, delicate fish will cook much faster.

Steamed Fish on the Grill

1 pound of cod or other firm fish
1/2 of a lemon
2 green onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter

aluminum foil
pan with water

Preheat the grill to 400 degrees.

Peel and smash the garlic. Chop the green onions.

Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil and place the fish on it. Sprinkle with paprika, pepper, and salt. Slice the lemon and place on the fish. Scatter the green onions over the fish and add the garlic. Cut the butter into 8-10 pieces and scatter on top of the fish.

Close the aluminum foil very well, making a seam along the top edge and the ends so no steam will escape.

Place on the upper rack of your grill. Fill the pan with about 1 1/2 inches water  and place underneath the fish. Close the top and cook 20 minutes.

Be careful opening the foil. It's hot!


  1. Minus the water, this is how we cooked Friday night dinner when I was a Girl Scout. Fish was cheap back then and the Catholic girls were supposed to eat fish on Fridays. So, a piece of fillet (individual serving size) went into the foil with sliced onion, potato (very thinly sliced), and flavorings. Close it up and put it in the coal by the fire. Minimized cleanup, too-no pan and little mess on your plate.

    1. You know, I hadn't thought about it, but it's the perfect dinner for campers who fish!

      Isn't it interesting how the fish-on-Fridays thing was followed by so many non-Catholics? My mom wasn't Catholic, either, but her family followed that rule, too.


    2. Of course, fish used to be inexpensive and, therefore, all the more appealing.

  2. Yummy! I also add a little water to the pan surrounding fish that I've wrapped in foil. It does seem to keep it steamed and it always keeps the pan from overcooking any juice that might slip out onto the pan. Cooked fish yesterday, tilapia.

    Lovely share, Krista!

    Hugs, Daryl

    1. We really enjoyed it. So easy but really delicious!