Fish Friday: Preparing Fish the Ancient Way

Fish Friday: Preparing Fish the Ancient Way

Every year, millions of people around the world abstain from eating meat around this time of year. Welcome to Lent. For some, this just means a seafood lunch on Good Friday, but for others, it is 40 days of fasting and repentance. It tends to be more of a focus among Catholics or Orthodox Christians, while many Protestants take a much more lenient approach. Many Christians don’t even observe Lent at all. 

Curiously, many non-religious people have picked up the tradition of a seafood lunch on Good Friday, and in honour of this unusual (but undeniably delicious) quirk in Australian culture, we have decided to give a quick recipe to help you prepare fish the way they would have two thousand years ago.

It is entirely possible to replicate the taste and texture of a fish that has been cooked over charcoal in your very own kitchen, and you don’t not light a fire on the floor to get away with it. All you will need is a grill or a broiler.


  • One whole fish (consider a trout, snapper or barramundi)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wedges of lemon
  • Olive Oil


  1. Get your grill or broiler to a high heat
  2. Clean and gut the fish, leaving the head and tail attached (or ask you fish retailer to do it for you)
  3. Score the skin of the fish with a sharp knife
  4. Rub salt, pepper and olive oil on the inside and outside of the fish
  5. Put the fish under the broiler or on the grill for about five minutes on each side, or until the skin becomes crispy and the flesh is fully cooked. Don’t leave it on for any longer, or you will dry it out
  6. Take the fish off the heat and let it rest for a few minutes
  7. Serve with wedges of lemon and extra olive oil, salt and pepper according to taste.

If you’re a fan of that extra smoky flavour, you could consider adding wood chips to your grill or broiler. If you soak the wood chips in water for half an hour beforehand, they will smoke up even more. Add them to the heat just before the fish so that it benefits from all that extra smoke. We recommend smoking outside!


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