Psari Psito

Grilled Whole Fish with Lemon, Olive Oil and Oregano

WITH THIS recipe, Chef Jim Botsacos is able to serve fish that really tastes like fish on the islands. It’s important to use Greek oregano.


Lemon Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, crumbled
  • 6 snapper or sea bass (1¼–1½ pounds each), cleaned, rinsed and patted dry
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, crumbled
  • 3 lemons, cut into wedges


Soak 1 cup wood chips (preferably cherry or pecan) in cold water for 30 minutes. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Just before you are ready to grill, brush or rub the grill with oil to prevent the fish from sticking.

Meanwhile, Make the Vinaigrette

Place the lemon juice and salt in a blender. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, then add the oregano. Set aside.

When the fire is ready, place the soaked wood chips on top of the coals. Brush the fish on both sides with oil, and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the grill, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until there are pronounced grill marks on the first side of the fish and it is lightly charred. Turn and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more.

Place the fish on a heated serving platter. Top each fish with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette, sprinkle the oregano over it and serve with the lemon wedges.