Coffee-Rubbed Grilled Fish
The final days of December for African-Americans mean playing games of bid whist and spades, and cultivating joy through seasonal dishes. For Rashad Frazier and his family in Portland, Ore., Kwanzaa is all about the food, Nguzo Saba (the seven principles) and honoring members of their families who have made their lives bright. Mr. Frazier is a personal chef and an avid outdoorsman; this rub is his go-to for highlighting fresh-caught fish, which he is serving for the holiday.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2whole fish (1 to 1 1/2 pounds each) such as branzino, gutted and scaled (see Notes)
- 2teaspoons medium-ground coffee
- 2teaspoons onion powder
- 2teaspoons garlic powder
- 2teaspoons ground cayenne (see Notes)
- 1teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- 1teaspoon packed brown sugar
- 1teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 3tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the grill
- Lime wedges, for serving
Step 1Prepare an outdoor grill or heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high, ensuring the grates are very clean. Using a sharp knife, score the fish with four diagonal slashes through the skin on both sides.
Step 2Mix the coffee, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, ancho, cumin, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pat the fish very dry with paper towels, then drizzle with the oil and rub over the skin. Sprinkle the coffee rub all over the exterior and cavity of the fish and massage the seasoning into nooks and crannies.
Step 3Oil the grill grates or pan. Place the fish on the hot, greased grates, and cover, if using a gas grill. Grill, turning once, until skin is browned and crisp and the flesh is opaque, 5 to 6 minutes per side. The crisped skin should naturally release from the grate when turning and removing the fish. If it doesn’t, let it sit until it does. If it’s still stuck, carefully pry the skin off the grate with a spatula. Season to taste with salt, and serve right away with lime wedges.