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Oily fish, such as mackerel, are strong-flavored and pair well with boldly seasoned glazes made from gochujang chile paste. The red, rich paste is so common in Korea that it is sold in virtually every supermarket in plastic containers ranging in size from about 2 cups to about 2 quarts. Normally the main ingredients are fermented soybeans ground with red chiles and powdered rice, plus a little salt and sweetener.

EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2010; updated January 2023

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Recipe Summary

active:
30 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk chile paste, oil, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons marinade to a small bowl and set aside.

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  • Open each fish like a book, exposing the flesh. Place in a large pan or on a baking sheet and spread the remaining marinade over the flesh. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • About 20 minutes before you're ready to grill, preheat grill to high or prepare a charcoal fire.

  • Brush the grill rack clean and oil it well (see Tip). Grill the fish, flesh-side down, for 3 minutes. Flip with a large spatula, spread the reserved marinade over the fish and grill until opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Sustainability Tip

Both wild-caught mackerel from the Atlantic and farmed rainbow trout from the U.S. are considered best choices for the environment, according to seafoodwatch.org. For this recipe, you'll need whole mackerel (or rainbow trout) that has been cleaned, butterflied and the heads removed (tails left on). Availability of whole mackerel (or trout) varies, but most fish markets or fish departments at large supermarkets can order and clean the fish for you. Call ahead to make sure you get what you're looking for.

Shopping for Gochujang

Gochujang is a fermented spicy condiment made from red chiles, soybeans and salt. You can find it in most supermarkets and it keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator. To make a substitute for gochujang, combine 2 tablespoons white miso, 2 tablespoons Asian-style chile sauce, such as sriracha, and 2 teaspoons molasses.

Tip

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Foil on Fish

Fish that flakes easily requires a delicate touch to flip on the grill. If you want to skip turning it over when grilling, measure a piece of foil large enough to hold the fish and coat it with cooking spray. Grill the fish on the foil (without turning) until it flakes easily and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Gluten Information

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

221 calories; protein 33.9g; carbohydrates 3.9g; sugars 0.3g; fat 6.8g; saturated fat 0.9g; cholesterol 86.8mg; vitamin a iu 1070.3IU; vitamin c 2.1mg; folate 11.5mcg; calcium 51.8mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 53.9mg; potassium 721.1mg; sodium 612.4mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

5 lean meat

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