Barbecued Bonito with Tomato, Fennel & Capers

Recipes | Barbecuing Serves 4 Barbecued Bonito with Tomato, Fennel & Capers

Barbecuing, the oldest form of cookery, traditionally refers to cooking food over an open fire, hot coals or embers, although today we’re more likely to barbecue on a flat or ridged char-grill heated by gas or electricity.


1 x 800g Bonito fillet, skin on, bones removed
2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 golden shallot, finely sliced
1 small red chill, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and dried
1 bulb baby fennel, diced
3 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ lemon


Cut the fillet in half lengthways, following the line of bones down the centre, cut away the bones, trim and discard any dark meat. Cut the pieces in half. Place on a plate, sprinkle with thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, drizzle with half the olive oil and turn well to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. 

Heat a barbecue or char-grill plate. 

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan, add garlic, shallot, chilli, salt and pepper and fry until the shallot is translucent. Add the capers and fennel and cook until the fennel has softened slightly. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice and remove from the heat. 

Place the fish skin-side down on the BBQ or char-grill and cook for 2-4 minutes, until the skin is very crisp, then turn and cook the other side for a further minute or 2, until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork. 

Arrange fish on plates and spoon sauce over the top.


Bonito can be served rare in the centre, if you plan to serve it this way, buy sashimi-grade fish.

Alternative species:

Albacore, Atlantic Salmon, Mackerel, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Tuna.

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