Grilled Red Chile Rockfish
The rich, toasty, slightly smoky flavor of Argentine aji molido (ground red chile), combined with lime and butter, is flat-out awesome on mild white fish. Really any kind of fish works, but we especially like rockfish (aka Pacific snapper) from the U.S. West Coast because it’s abundant and the fisheries are well managed.
The thing about rockfish, though: It‘s delicate and tends to fall apart on the grill. To firm it up and boost the flavor at the same time, season the fillets on both sides (as in Step 1 below) about 30 minutes before cooking and chill them while you’re heating up the grill.
- 4 rockfish filets (about 1½ pounds)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chile powder to taste
- A neutral high-smoke-point oil, like sunflower, grapeseed or canola
- About 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- About 2 tbsp. softened butter
- Chopped parsley or cilantro
Putting It All Together
- Season fish on both sides with salt, pepper and Aji Molido. Drizzle oil on both sides. Chill for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (about 425°).
- Oil the hot cooking grate with oiled paper towels and lay fish on the grate.
- Grill the fish until it just begins to flake around the edges, 2-3 minutes.
- Flip over (easiest with 2 spatulas) and grill a couple minutes more.
- Top with lemon, butter and parsley, plus more of any of the other seasonings to taste.