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Grilled Whole Fish with Chile & Lime


This grilled sea bass with Asian flavors like cilantro, lime, and Thai chiles or serrano chiles is sure to be a show stopper at your next celebratory gathering or festive dinner party. Serve with rice and a simple salad for a meal that is sure to go down in culinary history. Filled with the zesty flavors of fresh lime, sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce, basil, cilantro, garlic, this sea bass dish will become on of your go-to main courses to feed a crowd of hungry loved ones.

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  • 1 (6-pound) cleaned sea bass or other firm white-fleshed fish
  • 1/3 cup sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 15 cilantro sprigs
  • 5 large basil sprigs
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 Thai or serrano chiles, halved lengthwise
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise
  • lime wedges, for serving


Servings 8
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 90mins


Step 1

Light a charcoal grill. Set the fish on 2 large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Rub the sambal oelek inside and all over the fish. Season with salt liberally to taste. Stuff the fish with the cilantro, basil, garlic, chiles, and lime slices. Wrap the foil around the fish and seal to form a packet.

Grill the fish over indirect heat for about 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish registers 135°F. If using a gas grill, cover and grill the fish over low heat for about 50 minutes, turning once.

Carefully transfer the fish to a baking sheet and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Open the packet and fillet the fish. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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