There are few things I like more than seafood grilled over charcoal. And while the idea of cooking fish frightens a lot of people, this is incredibly easy to do – the hotand sour herb salad giving this dish a really lovely freshness and lift.
Coupled with a cold, limey bottle of Riesling and you pretty much have my idea of the perfect outdoor dinner. It’s also worth bearing in mind that good cheap fish grills are a staple at most Asian grocers.
Tasty Tuesday is generously supported by
Ingredients (Serves 4-6 people)
For the fish
1 Snapper, cleaned & scaled (mine weighed 2kg)
3 spring onions, ends trimmed and cut in half
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1 bunch coriander stems and roots (reserve leaves for salad below)
2 tbsp. olive oil
For the salad
1 bunch Thai basil, leaves picked and washed
1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked and washed
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked and washed
1 bunch mint, leaves picked and washed
3 spring onions, ends trimmed and finely sliced lengthways
1 long red chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced lengthways
1 small handful of fried shallots (widely available in packeted form)
2 limes, halved for garnish
For the dressing
30ml Fish sauce
50ml Lime juice
2 tbsp Palm sugar
1 small clove garlic
1 small red chilli (optional)
Pour yourself a glass of Jim Barry ‘Watervale’ Riesling 2016 (available from ).
Light your charcoal barbecue. You are ready to cook when charcoal is covered in a light layer of white ash. If using a gas barbecue, preheat grill with lid down for 20 mins before cooking.
Wash the fish thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
Fill the cavity of the fish with spring onions, lime and coriander roots.
Gently rub olive oil into the skin of the fish before placing into a wire fish rack ready for grilling.
Place fish rack over an even layer of hot coals, close barbecue lid and grill for 12 minutes, before turning the fish rack over and repeating. The fish skin should be blistered and caught in spots, but definitely not burnt.
While the fish is grilling, assemble the salad by adding the leaves, spring onion and chilli to a large bowl. Set aside.
To make the dressing, pound the garlic, chilli, and palm sugar with a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. Slowly add the lime juice and fish sauce. The dressing should be a beautiful balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Feel free to adjust it to suit your taste. Set aside.
To assemble, carefully remove the fish from the wire rack and place on serving plate. Scatter fried shallots over fish, along with half the dressing. Add the remaining dressing to the salad and toss well, before lying over the top of the fish. Finish with lime halves.