Whole baked fish with a thai dressing
So simple and so delicious, give me this any day over salmon.
I would suggest using a bream here - the frypan is particularly good - or a red mullet. The sauce is enough for 2 - 3 smallish fish. I prefer baking it in paper, rather than aluminium foil, and it works out just fine.1 fish per person - approx 250gm per person, scaled, gutted and washed 2 fresh Kaffir Lime leaves per fish Fresh lime - sliced, 2 - 3 slices per fish Fresh ginger, finely sliced Lemongrass Sea Salt Baking Paper Thai Sauce: 4 tablespoons fish sauce 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 - 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (choose a nice, dark soft one) sweet chilli sauce to taste 1/2 cup (or so) roasted cashew nuts Jullienne (slice very finely, like a matchstick) vegies (all or choose) - carrot, capsicum, green paw paw - or mango!! 1/2 red onion, very finely sliced 1/4 cup each fresh coriander and mint leaves 1 - 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely sliced fresh chillies to taste, finely sliced
Tear off a long length of baking paper - you will need enough to lay the fish on it (along the length of the paper) then fold it over leaving approx 15 cm at the end to twist. The head should face the centre.
Pre heat oven to 180c. Sprinkle the fish, inside and out with a little salt. Fill the cavity of the fish with the lime slices and ginger, and place 1 kaffir lime leaf (or more) on each side of the fish. Scatter as much lemongrass as desired (just in broken sticks) around the fish. Fold the baking paper in towards the fish, a couple of times along the sides, then twist it together at the end to hold the sides. I also give the corners at the base a little twist also, helping to keep the sides sealed. Place on a baking tray and cook for approx 15 mins - or until the flesh is cooked through. The flesh will flake easily when pulled apart with a knife and it is white. Remove the fish from the paper and place on a serving platter, pouring any juices over.
While the fish is cooking, make the sauce. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, sweet chilli sauce and palm sugar to a medium bowl. Mix together well to "melt" the palm sugar, taste and add more palm sugar as required. Add the vegetables, onion, coriander and mint leaves, tomatoes and fresh chilli. Toss gently together and pour over the fish. Serve.