This is the quick version of “Barbecued baby snapper with Thai flavours”. If you had the time and the inclination you could certainly make your own spice paste from scratch, but using a store-bought paste for this means that you can have it on the table in 20 minutes.
This is about the amount of effort you want to put into a dinner for the in-laws, but it rates sky high in the effort-to-enjoyment charts so, well, it’s a pretty easy decision.
BARBECUED BABY SNAPPER WITH THAI FLAVOURS
1 small snapper (800g), or other fresh local fish around the same size, cleaned and scaled
1 tablespoon red curry paste
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup picked mixed herbs – coriander, shiso, Thai basil, mint
½ kaffir lime leaf, chiffonade
1 spring onion, sliced
1 long red chilli, deseeded if you want, sliced
Crispy fried shallots*
Crispy fried garlic*
Get your kettle BBQ going for an indirect cook or use a parilla type set-up with the grilled raised 20cm above a medium coal base.
Remove side fins from fish – kitchen shears or a sharp knife will do the job.
Using a sharp knife, score fish three times across each side.
Mix red curry paste, oil and a pinch of salt and then rub paste over both sides of the fish.
Place fish on grill, cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through (a good way to check if the fish is cooked is by gently pushing away the meat behind the top of the head. If it flakes away from the bone you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, leave the fish on the grill for another couple of minutes). If using a parilla it will take closer to 20 minutes and you will need to turn the fish after 10.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix bean sprouts and herbs.
Place fish on a plate with sprout and herb salad on the side, and then it’s time for the garnishes; sprinkle with shredded lime leaf, spring onion, chilli, crispy bits and finish the whole package with a splash of fish sauce and the juice of half a lime.
Serve as part of an Asian feast.
*available from Asian supermarkets