A whole roasted fish is a fuss-free way to cook seafood for a crowd. We like to marinate the fish overnight so the flavour gets right into the flesh, and it's one less thing to do on the day. The salad dressing can be made a day ahead, have the herbs ready and stored in an airtight container, steam some rice and you're good to go.
- 4 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
- 40 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
- 10 gm makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), thinly sliced
- 50 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 large snapper (about 2.8kg), skin slashed
Pomelo and herb salad
- 2 small red chillies, thinly sliced, or to taste
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 11⁄2 tbsp crushed palm sugar
- 60 ml lime juice (1⁄4 cup)
- 60 ml fish sauce (1⁄4 cup)
- 1 cup coriander
- 1 cup mint
- 1 cup Thai basil
- 2 red shallots, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 pomelo or grapefruit, broken into pieces
- 1Process chilli, ginger, lime leaves, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, coriander roots, oil and 2 tsp sea salt in a food processor to a paste. Rub inside the fish cavity and spread thickly over fish, massaging into incisions. Cover and marinate for at least three hours or overnight.
- 2Preheat oven to 220°C or heat a hooded barbecue to high. Place fish on an oven tray lined with oiled foil and drizzle with a little extra oil. Roast until flesh flakes easily (45-50 minutes).
- 3For pomelo and herb salad, pound chilli, garlic and palm sugar to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Stir in 1 tbsp hot water, then add lime juice and fish sauce – check seasoning and adjust the balance of hot, sour, sweet and salty to taste. Store in an airtight container until required. Just before serving, combine herbs, shallot and pomelo in a bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.
- 4To serve, squeeze lime over snapper and scatter with salad.
Drink Suggestion: Pungent young sauvignon blanc