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Ideas for simple sauces for grilled fish?

Something to put together quickly for a weeknight dinner. I need to make plain grilled fish more interesting. Any & all suggestions most welcome...

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  1. What kind of fish? The complimentary flavors of the sauce depend on what flavors naturally occur in the fish.

    1. Are you cooking along at alll with JC cookbooks for October? I've been browsing the sauce section of MtAoFC and saw a couple of sauce recommended for fish.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        sorry, out of the loop here...Is JC Julia Child? the original Mastering?

        1. re: fauchon

          Yes - recipes from Julia Child are the October "Cookbook of the Month" - sorry for being less than clear!

          1. re: MMRuth

            Thanks ... I'll check all my JC's for ideas....

            1. re: fauchon

              i made an amazing tapenade from the chez panisse vegetable cook book. I served it with salmon. simply wonderful

              1. re: fauchon

                One that sounded tasty to me was a Sauce Batarde with capers - p. 65 of Volume one - says for boiled fish, but I think it would be good w/ grilled fish as well. On the next page are similar sauces with mustard and one with anchovies. Also, on pp. 232 - 233, she provides a list of sauces for different methods of fish preparation.

                Edit - I usually just make a little pan sauce with white wine etc., though I like to serve a mayonnaise based sauce with salmon sometimes, with fresh herbs and some lemon juice.

        2. One of the simplest, easiest, and tastiest is salmoriglio: olive oil, a few drops of lemon joice, and fresh oregano. (and for this, is really has to be fresh.) It's particularly good with swordfish.

          7 Replies
          1. re: sea97horse

            I was going to post this -- salmoriglio is the easiest sauce on the planet, and you can make it while the fish is grilling -- just mince a clove of garlic with some fresh oregano, add olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, and pour over the fish.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              This is what I do as well, but really, sometimes just a lovely drizzle of fresh lemon or lime juice perfectly satisfies me and compliments any fish.
              We usually grill fish or steam if for a time on top of sauteed kale.

              1. re: Gio

                me too, and a favorite, is shallots minced finely, reduce white wine add lemon juice,and whisk in butter. Add capers for an extra piquant flavor.
                Lemon + capers = good flavor.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Yes - heavenly... especially when the fish is freshly caught. We fished off the stern of my brother's yacht, brought the fillets home, grilled them and feasted....

                  1. re: Gio

                    Lucky you! The freshest fish ever! I did this once while fly fishing in Pecos Mountains, NM. We caught little lively mountain stream, brown trout. Not my favorite fish, but it made the trout taste awesome and as Gail Simmons would say "Memorable!

                  2. re: chef chicklet

                    that is probably my favorite light sauce for fish as well. Lemon and capers were meant to be together!

              2. re: sea97horse

                I a similar vein, I make a sauce with a clove of garlic (pureed, mortered, or very finely microplaned), a lemon, olive oil (about half the amount of the lemon juice), salt, pepper, and a sprig or two of finely minced rosemary. Goes especially well on grilled wild striped bass fillet, added to the flesh side up in the last 2-3 minutes of grilling

              3. I like to make Mango salsa ( http://blog.firecooked.com/2007/06/14... ), goes well with firm / white fish on the grill. My other favorite is a Jalopeno sauce: Saute a minced Jalopeno in 1/2 T. of butter, off the heat, add 1/3 cup of plain yogurt (or sour cream), 1T. lime juce, salt and pepper to taste.

                1. What about a simple Meuniere Sauce? Butter, lemon juice and vinegar; very easy to make and tastes wonderful!

                    1. The sauce in this epicurious recipe is wonderful and very easy:


                      The flavors of the soy, sugar and lime come together beautifully. You can cut WAY down on the butter and it still turns out great. I usually only use 2 or 3 tablespoons.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: TorontoJo

                        This may not sound all that appealing, but I mix mayonnaise, grated ginger, soy sauce, and maybe a little sesame oil and spread it over a filet and broil it in the toaster oven - I've done it with bluefish and sea bass to good effect. Then serve it with rice. The mayo will blacken a little depending on how long you cook it, but I think it's good, provided it doesn't cook too long and all the sauce doesn't melt off.

                        1. re: dark knight

                          About 2 parts Dijon Mustard, 2 parts Clarified butter, 1 part Lemon juice, lots of dill, some pepper. (adjust measurements to taste)

                          Baste while on the grill

                      2. Here's my favorite from Jamie Oliver. It's a lot ingredients (most from the pantry), but super easy and fast to put together - especially if you have a mini prep. It makes enough for leftovers and I find myself putting it on everything throughout the week.

                        clove garlic
                        handful capers
                        handful gherkins
                        6 oz. anchovy
                        2 bunches parsley
                        1 bunch basil
                        1 bunch mint
                        1 T. dijon
                        1-2 T Red wine vinegar
                        Olive oil
                        Salt & Pepper

                        Put ingredients from garlic to mint in food processor (or finely chop by hand). Stir in dijon and vinegar. Add enough olive oil to make a loose mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust flavors as necessary.

                        1. Soy sauce, lime juice, dash of fish sauce, bit of honey, chopped fresh chilis, bit of chopped cilantro, touch of toasted sesame seed oil.

                          1. I always have this on hand, as I make salmon at least twice a week. It also goes well with roasted veggies (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower) and pork:

                            Lemon Dill Sauce
                            3 tblspn mayonnaise
                            2 tblspn Dijon mustard
                            2 tblspn lemon juice
                            1/2 tspn dill weed

                            1. Pan sauces are so easy to do. I made a really nice one to go with some fresh grouper that I pan sauted the other day. Removed the fish and deglazed with a couple of ounces of Kajmir liquour and some shrimp stock that I made with shrimp shells while the fish was cooking. Reduced it down a little and it was wonderful. To make it even more interesting I served the fish on a bed of shaved brussel sprouts and tossed a few bay scallops into the pan before deglazing so there were coated with the pan sauce and served around the fish.

                              1. 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 green onion chopped, several tablespoons chopped dill, scant 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, water to thin. This is so good I keep eating it even after I've finished the fish!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bakergal

                                  I made a similar one the other night that was really nice:

                                  sour creme
                                  chopped capers
                                  chopped gherkins
                                  chopped pickled peppers

                                  Served it over a roasted halibut.
                                  squeeze of lemon juice

                                2. I didn't realize this was a Rachel Ray recipe until I googled it but I really like tilapia with tomatillo sauce. The beer and serrano peppers are what makes the sauce tasty, imo:


                                  1. How about Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc cham)? Fab.u.lous. on grilled fish, very light, come together quickly and keeps in the fridge for a few days.
                                    A little bit and a sprig of cilantro . . . .
                                    this one is from
                                    `Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table'' by Mai Pham
                                    There's also a great recipe for a sauce that goes with ginger steamed fish in that book, but I'm not finding it readily online. It's julianned ginger, soy sauce and scallion and some other things . . . totally lovely on a mild grilled fish.

                                    1. For an asian flair try soy sauce, mirin, a little bit of fish sauce, and maybe some ginger. Reduce and just paint it on lightly while grilling.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Richard 16

                                        Fruit salsas are wonderful with fish - mango, pineapple. I also like tomatoes with capers and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

                                        Salmoriglio sounds like my Greek salad dressing.

                                      2. I discovered this recipe on a show called "Inside Dish" with Rachael Ray, of all people (I'm not a big fan of hers in general, but I love this recipe). Mariel Hemingway said she eats fish practically every night of the week, and though this recipe is called a dressing and marinade, she and her daughters both use it as a sauce, too. IMHO, it works great on flaky white fish- it wakes up the flavors!