Feeds 4-6 people  

This recipe is a summer favorite from Chef Chris Wiliams of Lucille’s Houston. Chris marinates a whole side of fish, (on the half shell means skin-on, scales-on) for 10 minutes and then quickly grills it skin-side down. His marinade is where the magic comes in. It’s elemental with freshly-squeezed lemon juice, thyme, garlic and the earthiness of smoked paprika. He serves it with coconut rice and a slightly wilted collard green salad. It’s summer eating at its best. 



  • Juice of 6 large lemons; reserve the lemon halves

  • 5 sprigs thyme or a handful of chopped fresh parsley

  • 2  cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 t sugar

  • 1 T smoked paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 ½ c olive oil

  • 30 oz or 1 side of  Red Fish or Salmon,  skin-on, scales on preferred 


  • 2 cups basmati rice

  • 12oz can lite coconut milk 


  • 4 bunches of collard greens, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped  

  • 1 shallot thinly sliced

  • 1 clam of grape tomatoes halved

  • 1 cup cooked black eyed peas (canned or frozen)  


1. For the marinade/ vinaigrette: Combine lemon juice with thyme leaves or chopped  parsley, garlic, sugar, smoked paprika, cracked pepper and salt. Whisk together and slowly pour in olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

2. Pour half of this mixture over the fish, and reserve the rest for the collards.

3. While the fish is marinating, start your fire and wait for the coals to go white or begin heating a grill pan over medium-high heat. 

4. While the grill  is heating, cook your rice, and use the simple 2-to-1 method subbing half the water with coconut milk.  

5. In a salad bowl, add your chopped collard greens, red bell pepper, thinly sliced shallot, tomatoes and black eyed peas .Pour the remainder of the marinade over and mix well. The acid will start to soften the salad. 

6. When the  grill is ready, remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry.  Place the fish skin- side down along with the reserved  squeezed lemon halves. Cover, but  leave the cover ajar . Occasionally check the lemons and turn them to char them as evenly as possible. Depending on the thickness of the fish, the cooking time should be between 10 to 15 minutes for a perfect medium. 

7. When done, place the whole fish on a serving platter, and garnish with the grilled lemons and some parsley, if desired. 

8. Serve with finished salad and coconut rice.