Asian style snapper is what is on todays menu.
Last week Mr. N and I went for an Asian inspired dinner to my brother and sister-in-laws house. Their heavenly 8 course menu inspired us to go to an Asian store in town and get all kinds of wonderful ingredients that you cannot buy in regular super markets. We got all kinds of wonderful vegetables, sauces, spices and we decided to test the red snapper out as well. The red snapper brings me back to the days when we travelled to Thailand with my family to escape the cold winter time. There I often ate a whole snapper and my favourite part was picking at it and finding delicious parts around the bones. I love eating whole fish in general, I think the flavour is more intense and juicy and makes a great presentation as well. In Thailand, I also loved eating clean broths, soft shell crab in a spicy curry powder and morning-glory greens in a sweet and spicy sauce. To our surprise we found morning-glory at the Asian store and of course I couldn’t leave without it!
This recipe is a steamed snapper that cooks in a sweet and spicy sauce served with a refreshing Asian coleslaw salad. This makes a great weekend lunch or quite a nice dinner if you are having friends over is it looks great in the centre of the table. The snapper is also great without any sauce, roasted or grilled with a bit of peanut oil and lime juice.
Ingredients for fish & Sauce
- Red Snapper
- 80ml soy sauce
- 80 ml chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 red chili
- 2cm piece ginger
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil
- Peanut oil
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves
- lemon grass
- 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
- 1 teaspoon Sheguan pepper
Ingredients for Asian Salad
- Finely sliced Cabbage
- Finely sliced radish
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce, soy, lime juice
Directions for fish:
Preheat your oven to 220°C and layer roasting tray with baking paper and foil. Rinse the snapper and dry with kitchen paper. To help distribute even heat in the cooking process, score both sides of the fish by cutting at an angle with a sharp knife.
Rub the fish with peanut oil and stuff the cavity with ginger, garlic, chili, lemongrass and slices of lime. Add lime slices to the scores as well. Place the fish in the lined baking tray and begin making the sauce for it.
Directions for sauce:
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a mortal and pestle, crush a teaspoon of sheguan pepper with a teaspoon of Chinese five spice. In a saucepan, heat the chilli, soy, bay leaf, vinegar, ginger, chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add a bit of water if needed. Add in cherry tomatoes. Let it simmer at medium heat for about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the snapper.
Cover the snapper with the foil and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Let it steam throughout until the snapper flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Once the fish is ready, lift the snapper on a clean plate and drizzle some of its sauce on top. Garnish with the Asian salad, sprinkles of black sesame seeds and finely sliced spring onions.
Directions for Asian Coleslaw salad:
Finely slice some cabbage and radishes. In a bowl make a dressing by adding 1 teaspoon of each ingredient: fish sauce, lime juice and soy. Mix the cabbage and radish in the dressing and let it marinate in the fridge for half an hour.