No grilled fish – No Dalmatia

grilled fish dalmatian
Find out all about love between dalmatians and the fish - Recipe bonus

No grilled fish - no Dalmatia!

In this blog, we will give you the main tricks for preparing the perfect grilled fish. Because, in Dalmatia, people love the grill, and fish is always the first choice!

Tender fish with a wonderful smoky flavor and perfectly crispy skin – it’s every grill person’s dream. Whether you’re preparing it for your family, friends, or even as a chef in a restaurant, this simple yet very refined way of preparing grilled fish is popular yet a headache for many.

It should all be done in just 30 minutes, but there are always great tips to make this meal perfect. Here are some tricks to really impress your guests.

Prepare the fish for the BBQ 

Always dry the fish with a napkin after cleaning it. You can stuff a whole gutted fish with all your favorite flavors – fresh herbs, lemongrass, ginger or chili. However, in Dalmatia, talking about the grilled fish – less is more! So, the three most common ingredients are olive oil and salt, garlic, and parsley.


grilled fish BBQ
Can you smell it?

You can also put lemon slices in the fish, or a little sage or rosemary. But keep it simple, because the fish has to be the main word on the BBQ! Coat both sides with oil and leave it side by side for a while while you prepare the grill.

Grilled fish is a special meal because it is so simple yet so crazy tasteful! Combination to remember.

Fire and common grill traps

Preheat the grill to high heat. Start by placing the fish skin side down on the grill. Each side should be cooked for 3-5 minutes. To avoid the usual grill trap – the fish sticking to the grill – you also need to add a little oil to the grill, and not too little.

grilled fish and vegetables
Vegetables just love to be near the fish

Oli grilling fish and oil is the most important way to start! While grilling, you can brush the fish with a little oil on both sides, using a sprig of rosemary. This will develop flavorful aromas on the fish skin. Never turn the fish more than twice! If the fish is too big, you may be thinking of making fillets. In this case, start cooking again with the skin side down. Do not turn the fish until the skin is crispy and golden. When the fish skin is cooked properly on the grill, it is amazingly delicious and crispy!  Maybe this is the main secret of grilled fish! 

grilled tuna fish
Grilled tuna for the Foodies

Be sure to generously oil and season with salt the skin of any fish you use for this method – this will help prevent sticking and give the skin a wonderfully crisp, tasty finish. A great way to cook more delicate fillets such as sea bass or plaice is to wrap them in foil with a splash of liquid and aromatic herbs. This helps to protect the meat and lightly steam the fish during cooking, giving you wonderfully moist meat.

One of the best and easiest ways to grill fish is to leave it whole – a whole sea bass or bream makes an impressive main dish, and the bones help to add flavor and moisture to the meat.

Sardines, mackerel, trout or red mullet are generally the best fish to grill whole. Not only are they affordable and widely available, but they go well with many delicious, rustic flavors and don’t require too much preparation.

grilled sardinas dalmatia
"Blue fish" is the most popular grilled fish in Dalmatia and Split

In many Dalmatian restaurants and taverns, you have two or three kinds of fish. We advise you not to leave the place until you have ordered grilled fish. They should have the best wood and large fireplaces. Order it.

Something different

If you leave the fish whole, you can also stuff the cavities, a wonderful way to add more flavor to the fish meat. To keep the stuffing in the fish and the meat intact, fish baskets are one of the most practical gadgets you can buy for the grilling season.

You can fill them with garlic, rosemary, ginger, lemon slices, herbs, olive oil, salt, pepper, ao even smaller fish if you are preparing a real gastro event!

! If you’re not using a fish basket, you can also place the fish in newspaper or baking paper, but the result will be more cooked than baked fish. To prepare the perfect grilled fish, you can also wrap whole fish in aluminum foil, which adds moisture but does not create crispy skin.

The choice of wood is up to you. Oak is always the best choice for fish, but any wood that makes you happy will work – it won’t be grilled for hours, so the smoke flavour is mild.


Serving the perfect grilled fish

Keep it simple until the very end! With fish, the best side dish is vegetables, potatoes and salad, lots of salad. You can put spring and summer vegetables on the grill right after the fish. The most popular vegetable in Dalmatia is chard with boiled potatoes, not seasoned, but full of olive oil and garlic.

A pinch of salt and you have the healthiest dish in front of you. A dish from Dalmatian past that you can find on tables all over the region. This colorful plate is complemented by grilled tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms or eggplants (aubergines).

In the salad, you can mix cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, carrots and wild arugula. And, don’t forget a glass (or bottle) of wine! Red or white, whatever, just serve it white cold and red at room temperature ( 18 degrees).

Recipe for the perfect grilled fish



  • 4 fish fillets, leaving the skin and scales on.
  • Salt
  • Olive oil to grease the fish skin
  • Parsley, garlic
  • Vegetables for the garnish


Salt the fillets well and place them in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare your grill. Clean your grill grates well and, if you are working with a scaled fish, coat the grates with a little vegetable oil.

Heat the grill to a temperature of 200 F to preheat the grill to a temperature of 200 F to 250 F.

When you are ready to grill, brush the skin side of the fish with a little vegetable oil. Do this from the head end of the fillet backward, so that you go with the grain of the scales.

Place the fillets skin-side down in the grill, cover the grill and cook as slowly as you can stand. Remember, slower is better, you’ll get a smoky flavor that way.

Serve your fish on the skin — you eat it by lifting the meat off the skin with a fork — with some lemon or lime wedges, a nice vegetable and either rice or potato salad.

Be sure to add olive oil with garlic to a bowl! And a glass of wine to finish!