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Grilled Fish with Brown Rice and Peas Recipe

by AI Chef
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Grilled Fish with Brown Rice and Peas recipe

Grilled fish is not just a delicacy enjoyed by many across the globe but also a powerhouse of lean protein. It’s an embodiment of how nutrition can intertwine seamlessly with flavor. The gentle char, the flaky tenderness, and the evocative aroma make it more than just a dish – it’s an experience.

But every superstar needs a supporting act, and that’s where brown rice steps in. As a whole grain, it offers far more than just a bed for our grilled fish. Brown rice provides essential fibers, vitamins, and minerals that make it a healthier alternative to its white counterpart. Its slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture elevate the dish’s wholesomeness, ensuring you’re not just satiated but also nourished.

Let’s not forget the peas. These vibrant green pearls are more than just a pop of color on the plate. Peas provide a refreshing crunch, and a sweet undertone, and are an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamins.

overhead shot of a white plate with the grilled fish

Their presence on the plate is both balancing and enriching, making them the ideal sidekick to our grilled fish and brown rice. Together, this trio promises a meal that’s delicious, nutritious, and delightful.

Fish Suggestions and Alternatives

  • Salmon: A fatty fish with a rich, buttery flavor. Perfect for grilling.
  • Tilapia: A leaner option, with a mild taste.
  • Halibut: Firm and steak-like, with a delicate flavor.
  • Alternative: Tofu steaks or grilled eggplant for a vegetarian option.

Seasoning Variations

  • Mediterranean: Add chopped olives, capers, and a sprinkle of oregano to the fish marinade.
  • Asian Flare: Use soy sauce, ginger, and a touch of sesame oil for marinating the fish.
  • Zesty Citrus: Incorporate orange zest and juice along with lemon for a citrusy punch.
  • For Rice: You can toast the rice with cumin or coriander before cooking for an earthy flavor.
  • For Peas: A dash of chili flakes or a sprinkle of parmesan can add an extra dimension of flavor.


  1. Fish Plating:
    • Use a warm plate to ensure the dish remains hot.
    • Position the grilled fish slightly off-center, leaning at a gentle angle to give a feeling of motion and depth.
  2. Brown Rice Base:
    • Instead of simply spooning the rice onto the plate, use a round mold or a small bowl to shape the rice into a compact mound. If you don’t have a mold, you can press rice into a small cup and invert it onto the plate for a similar effect.
  3. Peas:
    • Sprinkle the peas around the fish and the rice, adding color contrast and a scattered appearance. This relaxed approach can make the plate look modern and less rigid.
  4. Garnish:
    • Add finely chopped fresh herbs (like parsley, cilantro, or dill) sprinkled around the dish.
    • Place a slice of lemon or a wedge beside the fish, which can be squeezed over for added freshness.
    • Drizzle a light sauce or olive oil around the plate’s edge for a touch of elegance.
  5. Color & Texture:
    • To elevate the presentation further, consider adding a colorful side salad or some grilled veggies, such as asparagus or bell peppers. Their bright hues will contrast beautifully with the main elements and add extra texture to the plate.

Drink Pairings

  1. White Wine:
    • A crisp, light white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio can pair wonderfully with grilled fish. Their acidity and fruit notes complement the fish’s mild flavors.
  2. Iced Tea with Lemon:
    • If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, a refreshing iced tea with a squeeze of lemon can balance the grilled fish’s richness. Opt for green tea or herbal tea for a milder flavor.
  3. Sparkling Water with Citrus:
    • A bubbly sparkling water infused with a slice of lemon or lime can offer a refreshing contrast to the meal. The carbonation can cleanse the palate between bites.
  4. Light Beer:
    • For beer enthusiasts, a light lager or a citrus-infused wheat beer can pair well, not overpowering the delicate fish flavors.

Serving a well-presented dish with a thoughtfully chosen drink can elevate the dining experience, making even a simple home-cooked meal feel like a restaurant treat.

Grilled Fish with Brown Rice and Peas Recipe Guide

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 450 calories 10g fat


For the Grilled Fish:

  • 2 fish fillets (about 6-8 ounces each) – see suggestions below.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Fresh herbs (like dill or parsley), for garnish.

For the Brown Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice.
  • 2 1/2 cups water.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter (optional).
  • Salt, to taste.

For the Peas:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas.
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Fresh mint leaves (optional), finely chopped.


Grilled Fish:

  1. Marination:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk them together to create a marinade.
    • Place the fish fillets in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them, ensuring each fillet is well-coated.
    • Cover and let the fish marinate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Grilling:
    • Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
    • Once hot, remove the fish from the marinade, letting any excess drip off, and place it on the grill.
    • Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. The exact time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillet.
    • Once done, remove from the grill and garnish with fresh herbs.

Brown Rice:

  1. Rinsing:
    • Place the brown rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove any excess starch and makes for fluffier rice.
  2. Cooking:
    • In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
    • Add the rinsed rice, salt, and olive oil or butter (if using). Stir once.
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Avoid stirring while it's cooking as this can make the rice sticky.
    • Once cooked, remove from heat and let it sit covered for another 10 minutes. After this, fluff the rice with a fork.


  1. Preparation:
    • If using fresh peas, shell them from the pods. If using frozen peas, no need to thaw.
  2. Cooking:
    • In a skillet or pan, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until they are tender but still vibrant green.
    • Season with salt and pepper. If desired, sprinkle with freshly chopped mint leaves for added flavor and aroma.

Chef’s Tips & Tricks

Best practices for grilling fish to perfection:

  1. Choosing the Fish:
    • Opt for fish with firmer flesh like salmon, tuna, or halibut. These types hold up better on a grill and are less likely to fall apart.
  2. Skin On:
    • Whenever possible, grill fish with the skin on. It provides a safety layer between the fish’s delicate flesh and the grill, preventing sticking and helping the fish to retain its moisture.
  3. Preheat the Grill:
    • Ensure your grill is hot before placing the fish on it. A preheated grill sears the fish quickly, locking in juices and creating a flavorful crust.
  4. Oil It Up:
    • Lightly oil the fish and the grill grates before cooking. This further ensures the fish doesn’t stick.
  5. Don’t Move It:
    • Once the fish is on the grill, let it sear and form a crust before attempting to flip it. This helps to prevent breaking.

Techniques to enhance the natural flavors of brown rice:

  1. Toasting:
    • Before boiling, lightly toast the rice in a pan with a bit of oil. This deepens its flavor, giving it a nuttier profile.
  2. Stock Over Water:
    • Use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water to infuse more flavor.
  3. Herbs and Spices:
    • Add bay leaves or cardamom pods to the cooking water for a subtle aromatic touch.

Quick methods to boost the taste of peas without extra calories:

  1. Fresh Herbs:
    • Toss cooked peas with fresh mint or parsley. It’s a classic pairing that brightens the dish without adding significant calories.
  2. Lemon Zest:
    • Grated lemon zest stirred into peas just before serving can offer a zesty lift.
  3. Steam Don’t Boil:
    • Steaming retains the peas’ vibrant green color and their natural sweetness better than boiling.

Ideas for storing leftovers and reheating:

  1. Separate Components:
    • Store the grilled fish, brown rice, and peas in separate containers to maintain the best texture upon reheating.
  2. Reheating Fish:
    • Use a low oven (around 275°F or 135°C) to gently reheat fish without drying it out. Alternatively, a few seconds in the microwave on 50% power can also work.
  3. Revitalizing Rice:
    • When reheating rice, sprinkle a bit of water over it. This prevents it from drying out and helps regain its original texture.
  4. Peas Best Served Fresh:
    • Ideally, try to consume peas freshly cooked. However, if reheating is necessary, a quick zap in the microwave or a fast steam will do the trick without making them too mushy.

Cooking is as much about technique as it is about ingredients. Knowing these little tricks can elevate your dish from good to great!

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