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Hot Tips on Barbecuing Seafood

Barbecuing is fun, summer, social, casual, kiwi! The latest barbecues not only look like rocket ships but with their hooded protective tops they are ideal for our wild New Zealand weather. You can now bbq in any weather and any time of year. Barbecuing is a wonderful way to enjoy our divine kai moana!


Before You Start: 

  • Preheat the barbecue well before you start cooking to a medium-high heat. 
  • Take your seafood out of the fridge about 5-10 minutes prior to cooking and keep it covered. This will allow the seafood to cook more evenly and will remove the chill.  
  • Marinate seafood for about 20 minutes before barbecuing. If you marinate your seafood for too long the acids can cause your seafood to “cook”. 


Honey, Lemon and Soy Marinade 

Combine zest and juice of a lemon, 4 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons honey in a bowl and whisk together

Chilli Marinade

Combine equal quantities of runny honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce and a very finely diced chilli – kapow!

Yoghurt Marinade (gives a nice crust)

Combine a small tub of natural yoghurt, chopped red onion, crushed garlic, pinch of curry powder or paste and a handful of chopped coriander.



  • Cook using a medium to med-high heat and don’t leave the BBQ once you begin cooking. It doesn’t take long to overcook seafood.
  • Basting the seafood with the marinade as it cooks on the BBQ will deliver delicious results. Don’t use marinade on the cooked fish that has been in contact with the raw fish so put aside some of the marinade for basting only
  • Make sure the outside of the whole fish is well oiled
  • Remember to use pieces of fish with similar thickness whenever possible as they will all be finished cooking at approximately the same time.



Why does the fish stick to the bbq?

  • When you place fish onto the BBQ you may find that it sticks, due to hot and cold surfaces coming into contact. Sticking can be avoided by ensuring that the BBQ is hot enough, clean, and oiled. As a general rule, it is better to have the BBQ a little too hot rather than too cold. Brushing the BBQ with a clean lightly oiled cloth or heavy duty paper towel often can also resolve the problem.


Preserved Lemon Tarragon Butter

This gorgeous tangy butter devised by Al Brown ( can be stuffed in whole fish, coated on shellfish or fillets...


  • 250gms Salted Butter (room temp)
  • 1/4 Cup Preserved Lemon (in store)
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp Garlic (minced fine)
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Tarragon (finely chopped)
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
  • Pinch Chili Flakes 
  • Combine all ingredients. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in fridge till needed.



Recommended Whole Fish:

Snapper, Salmon and Tarakihi are ideal for bbqing. You can have the whole fish gilled and gutted by us or you can buy a whole fish and cut the head off and gut yourself. When you stuff the fish from the head the stuffing is less likely to leak out of the fish. Preserved Lemon (Lavender Green in store - a natural product with a chilli bite) is ideal for placing in the cavity of the fish. Dill is an ideal herb for Salmon. For a delicious Salmon bbq recipe click here


Recommended Fish Fillets:

Firm fish like Monkfish, Warehou, Salmon, Tuna, Moki, and Groper are ideal.  The more delicate fish like Gurnard and Tarakihi can be wrapped in foil with fresh herbs.

Cool Tip – You can wrap bacon around rolled fillets and skewer for super yummy kebabs. 


Recommended Shellfish and Seafood:

  • Prepared shellfish can be bbqed in their shells, e.g. mussels, oysters, and scallops
  •  Prawns can be bbqed from frozen – they don’t take long so watch carefully. If they are cooked too long they will be tough. We stock big Aussie Banana Prawns and Shore Mariner peeled prawns (raw or cooked).
  • Paua and Crayfish (Lobster) are quintessentially kiwi and perfect for the bbq


BBqed Paua

Slice paua into very thin strips with a sharp knife. Mix paua with butter, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped red onions. On a bbq that's been heated to medium-high sear the paua for 1-2 minutes on each side. Serve and enjoy! 

Crayfish on the barbie (from

Cut uncooked (freshly caught) crayfish in half. Remove waste tube from centre. Spread raw meat with butter and crushed fresh garlic. Pour over a little Bach 22 Sauvignon Blanc. Place on hot bbq (med-high), shell side down. Leave for 5-6 minutes or until meat turns white. Turn over and lightly sear meat for no longer than 1 minute. 


BBQ Must Have!

Creamy Eggs:

This is perfect for barbeques or to take as ‘a plate’ to pot lucks. Prepare a dozen hard boiled eggs, cool, peel and slice lengthways. In a bowl mix Best Foods Mayonnaise and some whipped cream, place a big dollop of the mayonnaise mixture on top of the yolk of each egg and sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley. Simple but Divine! (Thanks to Jane S for this recipe)