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Caribbean Grilled Snapper With Garlic Aioli

Flavor FULL! This snapper is no wall-flower! With a pungent pop of garlic, lime and habanero pepper the marinade imparts a tongue-tingling heat. Paired with a spoonful of garlicky lime aioli, it's a perfect yin-yan!


  • 1 2-pound fresh whole snapper scaled, gutted, cleaned

  • 2 large cloves garlic minced

  • 1/2 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper finely minced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 scallions chopped

  • 1 shallot thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 small onion thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • fresh lime for serving


  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 cup vegetable oil or other neutral tasting oil (do not use olive oil)


  • 1 lime cut into wedges

  • sprigs fresh parsley

  • 2 scallions chopped


  • Have your fish monger clean (scale, gut and trim the fins of the fish — or use a pair of kitchen sheers to remove the fins yourself – cut the fish’s tail into a V-shape for a nice presentation). Place the fish in a shallow baking pan and set aside.

  • Mound the minced garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and kosher salt together on a cutting board. Use the side of a chefs knife to flatten and grind the garlic, pepper and salt into a paste. Transfer to a small bowl.

  • Add the black pepper, scallions, shallots, lime juice and olive oil. Stir to combine and set aside.

  • Fill the cavity of the fish with thyme sprigs, sliced onions and a few of the limes wedges that have already been squeezed for the juice. Pour the marinade into and over the fish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour so the flavors can penetrate the fish.


  • In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, dijon mustard, and garlic. Whisk to combine. About 1 tablespoon at a time, drizzle oil into the egg yolk mixture and whisk (in the same direction) until the oil is emulsified into the egg yolk. Continue very slowly drizzling the oil into the egg yolk, whisking constantly until all of the oil has been incorporated into the egg yolks and forms a very thick mayonnaise. Add lime juice and whisk to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust according to your tastes. Cover and refrigerate.


  • Set up your grill for direct heat grilling. Heat the grill to about 450°. Spray a fish basket with vegetable spray. Transfer the whole fish to the fish basket (no need to remove the vegetable and herbs). Secure the fish basket and set on the hot grill.

  • Grill the fish for about 10-12 minutes on each side, depending on the size of your fish. Until the fish is cooked through, but still moist.

  • Transfer the fish to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped scallions, fresh parsley and lime wedges. Serve with garlic aioli.

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