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Grilled Kingfish Steaks with Fennel

Provided by Mel & Sheryl London

A cousin of the Mackerel family, the finely textured blue tinged flesh turns white when cooked. Here, the flavor of licorice permeates and complements its rich taste.

Grilled Kingfish Steaks with Fennel


  • 2 fennel bulbs, about ½ pound each, trimmed and cut into quarters, feathery tops reserved for garnish
  • 4 Kingfish steaks, about ¾ inch thick, weighing 6 to 8 ounces each (substitute bluefish or mackerel)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, pulverized in a blender
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod, Ricard or Ouzo liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Lemon Wedges


In a medium saucepan, add the fennel to enough boiling salted water to cover. When the water returns to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until fennel is almost tender. Then drain and set aside on paper towels.

Preheat and oil an oven proof broiling pan or outdoor grill. Season the fish steaks with salt and pepper and arrange the fennel wedges around the fish. In a small skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the pulverized fennel seeds, Pernod and lemon juice and stir to combine. Brush generously over the fish and fennel and broil (or grill), basting frequently, for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Carefully turn over the fish and fennel and baste, continuing to cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Test the fish with the point of a knife to see if it’s cooked through. The fennel should be slightly charred.

Before serving, sprinkle Parmesan cheese only over the fennel. Spoon any basting butter over the fish. Scatter the reserved fennel tops over all and tuck in the lemon wedges.

Serves 4


MEL & SHERYL LONDON are the authors of eleven cookbooks, including “A Seafood Celebration” and “The Fish Lovers” Cookbook.” They are winners of the James Beard Award and the Tastemaker Award and were finalists for the IACP Cookbook Award for “The Gourmet Garage Cookbook.” They have been loyal and loving customers of The Lobster Place since the company first opened its doors in Chelsea Market.