Crispy Whole Mediterranean Branzino

Crispy Whole Mediterranean Branzino

By Kristie collado Published: May 1, 2018

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 10 minutes
  • Ready In: 20 minutes

Thirty years ago you found this wild Mediterranean fish only in southern European countries. In Italy it’s called branzino, in France it’s known as loup de mer, in Greece lavraki, and in Portugal robalo. Today it’s probably the second most popular upscale farmed fish in the world, after salmon. While it still swims wild, the farmed variety is delicious too. Neither bland like tilapia nor strong like bluefish, the flavor is acceptable to the majority of palates. – Joe Gurrera, Citarella’s Owner & Original Fishmonger, author of JOE KNOWS FISH.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing the grates and for serving
  • 1 (1-pound) whole branzini cleaned
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2-4 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat your stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill over the highest heat. Brush or spray the grates with oil.
  2. Rinse the fish and pat them dry with paper towel, both inside and out. Put them in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Using your hands, rub the oil evenly all over both sides of the fish and inside the bellies. Season with salt and place the rosemary inside the bellies.
  3. Place the fish on the preheated grill and cook for 5 minutes. Then, using tongs, carefully pick the fish up by the head, flip it over, and grill for another 5 minutes. Whatever you do, don’t move it. Don’t touch it. Just wait the entire 5 minutes, then drizzle with olive oil to finish and serve immediately.