Whole Fish In Vine Leaves

Wrapping fish in vine leaves is a fantastic secret to locking in flavour and ensuring a juicy dish.

In Greek cuisine there are numerous methods for cooking fish; a staple part of their diet. This recipe uses vine leaves, which add a subtle flavour as well as keeping the fish moist as it cooks.
Serves: 4
Preparation: 20 minutes plus marinating time
Cooking: 20-30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes plus marinating time


1 packet vine leaves preserved in brine (found in most good deli's)

1 whole white fish, such as red snapper, bream or barramundi, weighing about 1.5 kg, gutted with head and tail left on

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise

1 large bunch fresh herbs such as chervil, dill or parsley

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

lemon or lime wedges, to serve


Drain the vine leaves and place them in a bowl. Pour on enough boiling water to cover, soak for about 5 minutes and drain again in a large colander.

Slash the skin of the fish quite deeply in several places on each side. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper, and push the garlic and herbs deep inside. Put the fish in a non-metallic dish. Whisk together the oil, wine and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste, then pour over the fish. Cover and marinate the fish in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue to medium - high heat.

Wrap the fish in the vine leaves, then a layer of foil, sealing the edges to enclose the fish.

Cook the fish, covered, for 10 minutes, then turn the fish over and cook it for another 8 - 10 minutes, or until it flakes easily when tested in the thickest part of the fish

Unwrap the foil and vine leaves. Serve the fish immediately, garnished with lemon or lime wedges.