Turbot with coriander sauce

Valentine Warners whole fish cooked over smoky coals will add wow-factor to any barbecue
By Valentine Warner
Turbot with coriander sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the red pepper salad

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 oranges
  • 400 g can chickpeas, drained
  • ½ red onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or sliced
  • 1 sprig marjoram, leaves only
  • 1 splash sherry vinegar
  • 1 splash olive oil

For the sauce

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 35 g coriander leaves, very finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemons, juice only

For the fish

  • 1 turbot, about 1kg, gutted and gills removed
  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika, optional

Tips and Suggestions

Be careful to use a bare minimum of oil when barbecuing the fish.


1. For the red pepper salad: preheat the barbecue and lay the red peppers on it. Cook, turning, until the skins are completely blackened. Leave until just cool enough to handle.

2. For the sauce: gently toast the coriander seeds in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, swirling them often so they dont burn. When you smell their fragrance or hear them begin to pop, tip them onto a board or into a mortar. Roughly grind the seeds with ½ teaspoon of flaky sea salt and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the coriander leaves, some salt and black pepper and the olive oil. Stir well and leave to one side.

3. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and tear the flesh into pieces. Put them in a bowl. Peel the oranges and cut the flesh into segments. Add them to the red peppers along with the chickpeas, red onion, garlic and marjoram. Add salt, sherry vinegar and olive oil to taste and mix together.

4. For the turbot: set the grill rack about 18cm from the charcoal. Just before you want to cook the turbot, lie it flat and wipe all the moisture from each side so that it is as dry as possible a clean towel is best for this. Use scissors to snip off half the tail and cut the skirt fins from each side to limit the chances of the fish sticking to the grill.

5. Rub the smallest dot of sunflower oil over each side of the fish then salt it heavily with sea salt flakes; the salt will season the fish as well as help raise it from the grill bars.

6. When the embers glow orange and white, lay the fish dark skin-side down in the centre of the grill and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes. Do not prod unnecessarily while cooking.

7. Turn the fish with the aid of a large metal spatula, add some more salt and cook on the white side for approximately 5-6 minutes. Be very careful to keep the fish in one piece; although the skin often sticks and rips a little this is of no great matter.

8. Lift the turbot onto a large platter and, if you like, dust the crispy skin with a little smoked paprika. Make some slashes across the top of the fish. Add lemon juice to taste to the coriander sauce. Streak some of the sauce over the fish and hand the rest alongside. Serve the fish with the red pepper salad.

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