The secret to successfully grilling Fish Kabobs with your favorite fish
Grilled bacon-wrapped Fish Kabob
How do you keep your walleye secure when grilling your Fish Kabobs? Wrap it in bacon.
Note: While this recipe calls for walleye, it can be applied to any white-flesh fish (such as crappie, bluegill, catfish, bass, etc.).
Probably every angler, at one point or another, has tried to grill walleye only to painfully watch that delectable meat slip between the grate and turn to ash atop hot coals, but there's hope.
The answer: Fish Kabobs. They’re easy to assemble and require little effort and supervision while cooking. Depending on how many people you plan to feed, you can cover your grill with Fish Kabobs and close the lid while you enjoy a cold one, checking back every few minutes. When the Fish Kabobs are done just slide the morsels onto a plate and enjoy.
Some people may choose to marinade their walleye, but I have found that bacon adds enough extra flavor. Additionally, the fat in the bacon creates an adhesion and after cooking the shrinkage neatly captures the walleye chunks making them stay together and easy to dip in your favorit dipping sauce.
INGREDIENTS - four skewers needed
24 ounces walleye, filleted and skin removed
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 of each: red, yellow, green bell pepper and medium red onion, chopped
12-16 large cherry tomatoes (optional)
Light dusting of salt and pepper
PREPARE VEGETABLES: Cut top and bottom off onion, peel paper skin and discard. Cut onion in half, then quarter and chop to produce chunks no smaller than 1-inch by 1-inch. For bell peppers, cut off tops and bottoms. Slice open body of pepper., remove stem, pulp and seeds then chop into chunks no smaller than 1-inch by 1-inch. Place vegetables in a bowl and set aside.
PREPARE FISH: Cut bacon strips in half. From walleye fillets, cut 1- to 2-ounce 2-inch strips (width should resemble width of bacon, ideally). Roll up walleye fillet, then place atop bacon strip and roll into bacon. Set aside until ready to assemble kebabs.
BUILDING KABOBS: There is no designated order of vegetables and meat. Create your own pattern but try to fit at least four bacon-wrapped bacon bits on each skewer. I prefer stainless steel skewers over bamboo skewers. Bamboo skewers require a good soaking and may still burn while grilling. Put an onion or bell pepper chunk on each end of the skewer to secure all the morsels.Stack the morsels tightly onto the skewer. A loosely packed skewer may result in losing those morsels to the grill or difficulty turning and cooking them evenly as they spin on the skewer.
GRILLING KABOBS Very important: make sure your grill is clean. Leftover fats or char burrs can make your kabobs stick when it gets hot, this can make it difficult to turn the kabobs and possibly causing them to stick to grill. Make sure grill is hot (minimum 350 degrees) before placing kabobs on the grill. Put the kabobs parallel to each other on the grill to facilitate turning. Apply a light dusting of salt and pepper over entire length of kabobs. Only the bacon part of walleye bits need to touch grill—keep this in mind when turning. Consider using two sets of tongs when turning skewers. When grilling, cover with lid, monitor heat source regularly and be certain not to burn. Rotate skewers 90 degrees every couple of minutes. Kabobs are done when vegetables slightly charred and the bacon is browned.
About the Author
Jack Hennessy is a passionate denizen of the outdoors and former line cook, Jack Hennessy is the author of the blog "Braising the Wild." His column appears weekly in the Pioneer Press.