How to Grill Whole Flatfish
Flatfish turns buttery and crisp-skinned on the grill. Here's how to make it at home.
Inspired by chef Joshua Skenes’ whole grilled petrale sole at Angler restaurant in San Francisco, we set out to master grilling flatfish, which are sustainably caught off the West Coast. These delicate fish aren’t typically grilled—they’re prone to drying out or falling apart—but with the right technique, their flesh stays buttery and juicy, and it takes on a light smoky flavor and sizzling skin when grilled over hot coals. Air-drying the fish first helps to firm the fillets, which grill up crispy; using a grilling basket guarantees the fish won’t stick to the grill and is easy to flip. Finally, deboning the fish at the table makes this the party trick of the summer. Here, a step-by-step guide on how to prep your own grilled flatfish:
1. Scrub with Salt
Scrub fresh, cleaned flatfish with coarse sea salt to clean the slick skin of the fish. Rinse the fish well, inside and out, and pat dry thoroughly. Removing impurities from the skin ensures it dries completely.