When you live with an Australian family, barbecue is part of everyday life. I love barbecued fish cooked with plenty of herbs and with crispy skin. I experimented with plenty of Asian grilled fish recipes, including variations from Thailand and Vietnam, and later developed my own versions. Of course I include fish sauce in my recipes to make them even more delicious.
Here I share two of my fish recipes, one for grilling and one for steaming. You can serve them with rice, Asian green salads, Vietnamese rice paper rolls or rice noodle salads. The recipes use minimal cooking oil, so they are healthy and are also good for people who are dieting.
Different types of fish can be used in these recipes. Sea bass, red snapper and tilapi are good for grilling, and for steaming I prefer sea bass.
Vietnamese-style grilled fish
1 medium red snapper
2 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of lemongrass
1/3 cup of coriander (chopped)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 red chilies
Scale the fish and clean the belly, then wash and pat dry. Make two or three slits on each side of the fish.
Dice the heads (white part) of the lemongrass, keeping the stalks for later use. Thoroughly wash the coriander (including the roots) and chop the whole plant. Halve the chilies, remove the seeds and dice the chilies.
In a big bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of oil, coriander, chilies and lemongrass very well, and let them sit for a few minutes.
Rub the mixture on both sides of the fish and also insert some into the slits. Then insert the rest of the mixture and the lemongrass stalks into the belly of the fish.
Lay the fish over the grill or insert into a flexible grill basket, and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. During the grilling brush the oil over the fish before turning on to the other side. Serve on banana leaves.