The types of fish, especially whole fish, we can get in a regular market, is very limited. Among the whole fish we can get almost all the time is a trout. I thought I bought trout that was just cleaned but it turned out this one was deboned and butterflied as well. Since we were planning to grill outside, I decided to grill this fish as planned. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper all around and put sprigs of fresh thyme and slices of lemon inside the fish.
Since I do not like the skin to stick to the grill, I used two large metal skewers so that I can suspend the fish over the charcoals. The fish were fairly large but they just fit side-by-side.
Grilled whole fish, in general, is difficult to present in a pleasing way. While trout, as a white fresh water fish can be rather bland, and if not fresh, inedible, this fish had a nice thyme flavor and the barbecue imparts a lovely smokiness. When we were in California, we used to cook trout all the time, because it was almost the only whole fish we could get, but we have not have had trout for a long time.
I fondly remember the large juicy grilled herring I ate at the Robatayaki/Izakaya specializing in grilled fish, which was next door to the my old favorite “Oden” place, Kastuya, before it moved from the quaint dead-end alley way near Oodouri park 大通公園 in Sapporo 札幌.