Poissons Grillés

Broiled Fish

Use whole small fish such as trout, perch, or bass; fish steaks such as halibut, pompano, snapper, salmon, or swordfish; or fish fillets such as sole, cod, flounder, lake trout, sea bass, pike, or whitefish.


  • 4 pounds whole small fish, or 2 pounds of steaks or fillets
  • Vegetable oil
  • Melted sweet butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat broiler for at least 10 minutes. If the broiler is sizzling hot, it is not necessary to turn the fish. Once the top side is browned the fish is done. It cooks from both sides when the broiler is piping hot.
  2. Cut slashes into the skin of a whole fish, a steak or the skin side of fillets. This prevents their curling as the heat contracts the meat.
  3. Oil the fish well. Oil the broiler rack at the time the fish is put on it to cook. Do not oil it before, or it will smoke while heating.
  4. Put the skin side down, fleshy side up, when broiling fillets. Baste all fish at least once with melted butter and do not turn. Done when top side is browned. When fish is done you will notice a change from translucence to pearly white, or in the case of salmon to a pearly orange. Do not tear fish with a fork to test for doneness. Observe its change in color.
  5. Cook whole, 1-inch-thick fish 3 inches from the heat for about 8 minutes.

    Cook steaks and 1-inch-thick fillets about 3 inches from heat for about 7 minutes.

    Cook other fillets 2 inches from heat for about 4 minutes.

  6. Season broiled fish with salt and pepper after it is cooked. Serve with Maître d’Hôtel butter or with one of the butter sauces to complement the particular flavor of the fish.

To cook over charcoal:

Heat a hinged wire grill to very hot. Use any of the fish listed for broiling. Dip fish first into milk, then roll in fine dry crumbs or flour, then dip into melted butter and lay on hot oiled grill. To oil grill dip a pad of paper towels into oil and run it over the hot grill. Close the grill, set over coals, or other heat, and baste often with melted butter as fish cook. Grill each side about 5 minutes for 1-inch-thick fish or steaks. Cook fillets about 3 minutes per side. Fish are delicious cooked over charcoal. Restaurant grills in France are usually heated with charcoal.


Rully Blanc