Barbecued brill with seaweed butter

Barbecued brill with seaweed butter

Grill Smoke BBQ
Kris Kirkham

Brill is the unsung hero of the flat-fish world. Not as glamorous (or as expensive) as its cousin the turbot, it is equally sweet and delicious, with firm, meaty flesh. I first tried whole brill cooked over charcoal at a restaurant in San Sebastian in Spain. It was fantastic, and I loved it so much that I came home with a specially designed fish-grilling basket. You can pick these up at kitchenware stores and online, but alternatively some careful spatula action will work fine.

The seaweed butter is an unusual but relevant intriguing addition to the brill. Sea lettuce is the preferred seaweed for this, although you could also use samphire or sea purslane; your fishmonger should be happy to help.


Quantity Ingredient
70g seaweed, any dry stalks removed if using purslane
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 x 1.6kg whole brill, guts and fins removed
1/2 lemon, juiced
sea salt
black pepper


  1. Light the barbecue and set for direct cooking.
  2. Roughly chop the seaweed, then mix it through the butter. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Season the brill on both sides and clamp into the fish-grilling basket, if you have one. Put the fish on the grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side until the skin is charred and the flesh is opaque – check this just below the head, where the fish is at its fattest.
  4. Generously dot the butter onto the fish and let it melt over the flesh before squeezing over the lemon juice and transferring to a serving board or platter.


  • You’ll also need a fish-grilling basket, if possible, or just a large spatula.
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