Norouz, the Persian New Year, is next week. Therefore, it is time to start getting ready by preparing the traditional new year menu. In the past I have posted various ways in which fish can be made for this holiday. Traditionally, fish is either served fried or smoked.

But I have a confession to make: I am not a fan of the pre-made smoked white fish available at Persian stores. I generally find them to be too salty for my taste. I had never thought about smoking my own fish until a couple of years ago when the Sous Chef purchased a smoker. Of course it would be way too easy for me to simply publish a recipe here using his fancy smoker. The reality is that not everyone owns a smoker. So, I started doing a bunch of research and consulted my favorite BBQ related cookbooks. My goal was to figure out how to smoke the fish on a regular gas grill, which is something that most of us own. I am pretty happy with the results and hope that you will enjoy my version of Mahi-ye Doodi, Smoked White Fish, as much as I did!

This delicious smoked fish pairs beautifully with Sabzi Polow.

Smoked White Fish

One of the most important elements here is the brine.

Smoked White Fish-2

The next important step is the additional goodies that enhance the flavor of the fish. Smoked White Fish-3

It’s important to soak the wood chips for at least half an hour. It is also important to place the briquettes over fire so that they are hot and ready. The wet wood chips placed on top of the coal will create the needed smoke. Smoked White Fish-4Then all you have to do is patiently wait for the fish to smoke all the way through!

Serve fish with Sabzi Polow Mahi or Shivid Polow.

Mahi-ye Doodi ~ Smoked White Fish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 whole white fish
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of kosher salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 branches of dill
  • 4 charcoal briquettes
  • 3 cups cherry wood chips
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 aluminum pan
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a simmer.
  2. To the water add brown sugar and salt; mix until both are dissolved.
  3. In a large bowl combine the brine, 2 quarts of water and 4 smashed garlic cloves. Mix well. Then add fish making sure that it is submerged in the brine. Cover and refrigerate over night.
  4. When ready to smoke, first soak the wood chips for at least half an hour.
  5. Remove the fish from the brine, rinse, and dry completely.
  6. To the belly of the fish add sliced lemons, thin slices of garlic, and dill.
  7. Score the fish every 2 to 3 inches on each side. In each cavity place a thin slice of garlic.
  8. Turn gas grill on and place the four briquettes on top of the flame; allow them to turn white.
  9. Drain the wood chips.
  10. Place the briquettes in an aluminum pan then top with the wood chips. Place on the right back corner or left corner of the grill. Keep only the flame under the aluminum foil on.
  11. Spray the vegetable rack inside the grill with cooking spray. Lay fish on top.
  12. Close the lid and smoke for 2 hours. Preferably, the temperature inside the grill should be between 250 to 300 degrees.
  13. During the cooking period check the wood chips a few times to make sure that they remain on top of the briquettes and create smoke.