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Get some fish on the BBQ

Get some fish on the BBQ

Tasty alternatives to bangers and burgers

A heat wave is coming – we’re promised – so it’s time to fire up that barbecue and slap on some steaks – tuna and halibut steaks that it.

They make a great alternative to bangers and burgers and while they’re tasty just seasoned, brushed with olive oil, why not pimp them up with one of these marinades or salsas?

Cooking tips

The first thing to remember is don’t nuke the poor fish! Both tuna and halibut are lovely and lean so they can dry out when overcooked.

Both tuna and halibut steaks should be taken out of the fridge and brought to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking and when cooked served immediately. They both need only a few minutes either side on a very hot grill and cook them without a cover so you can keep an eye on them.

Tuna is best served rare to medium rare or it can go rather chalky and a tuna steak will need between four and six minutes each side, depending on its thickness. If you don’t like it pink then opt for a thinner cut of 1cm and cook it for five minutes each side.

Halibut takes much the same amount of cooking time – four to six minutes each side. The flesh will be flaky and opaque when they’re done.


Adding a marinade helps prevent the fish from drying out on the grill and adds flavour. Serving a salsa is also a great ways to zing up those flavours. Here are some to try:

Oregano oil marinade

This idea from Jamie Oliver couldn’t be more simple. Bash up some fresh oregano with a pinch of coarse salt in a pestle and mortar, then some olive oil and lemon juice. Brush this over the steaks before you put them on the barbecue and add the rest before serving. Jamie serves this with a pea and broad bean concoction which also sounds scrummy. You can swap out the oregano for any fresh herb – lemon thyme or basil would be tasty.

Roasted pepper and balsamic

Make a balsamic dressing – use your own recipe or try this one from Epicurious. Use some to baste the steaks and to the rest add a jar of roasted red peppers and serve over the fish when cooked.


Delicious Asian flavours in this Thai-grilled halibut recipe from The Spruce Eats, would work just as well with tuna. Again, this is part marinade, part sauce and teams sweet chilli sauce with fish sauce soy sauce, coriander, lime and garlic.

Salsa variations

A Pico de Gallo salsa is a Mexican classic with a mix of chopped onion, tomatoes, a fresh chilli, fresh coriander, lime juice and salt and pepper (try this recipe from Cookie and Kate if you’d like amounts).

A good tip is to add the salt just before serving so it doesn’t draw out too much liquid from the tomatoes.

While it is delicious served with some tortilla chips as a starter, it also works very well with fish steaks.

It’s an easy recipe to vary – try swapping out or adding ingredients:

Try swapping out white onions for the sweet red onions or use spring onions.

Try adding a diced avocado and a few inches of cucumber

Try swapping the coriander for parsley or basil

Try adding a few very finely chopped anchovies (especially good with tuna)

Or try adding some chopped fresh pineapple and diced green pepper