Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coconut Fish Scented with Ginger & Lemongrass

I have noticed in my wanderings around the web, that very few people seem to mention cooking fish in their blogs. It's hard to know whether fish is generally unpopular, or whether it is not "pretty" enough for blog photos. Regardless I love eating fish, and it has certainly come a long way from the greasy, non-descript take-away that I remember as a child.

I think fish deserves a place in everyone's repertoire because apart from the excellent health benefits, it is very fast and easy to cook. It also lends itself to all sorts of flavours, so whether your preference is more Mediterranean or more Asian or more whatever, there is a simple fish recipe out there. This recipe comes from Matthew Evans' "Weekend Fare". He is a food writer extraordinaire who has maintained a column in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend Magazine for as long as I can remember (and is now also blogging for Grazia magazine). This recipe would be perfect as part of a long buffet lunch.
Coconut Steamed Whole Fish
adapted from "Weekend Fare" by Matthew Evans
1 x 2kg whole white fish like snapper, gutted and scaled (or a very large fillet)
100 ml coconut milk
2 tbl fish sauce
1 stalk of lemongrass, smashed with a rolling pin, to open it up and let out the flavours
5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly (a teaspoon does a great job of peeling ginger)
3 green onions trimmed
Wash and dry the fish, and season to taste. Mix the coconut milk and the fish sauce. Place two large sheets of extra strong foil on top of each other. Put the fish on top, and scatter it with the lemongrass, ginger and green onions. Fold up the sides of the foil, then pour on the coconut milk. Cover with another two sheets of foil and press together to seal.
Place the fish on a baking tray and bake at 190C for about 30 minutes or until the flesh comes away from the bone easily. Serve hot, without the herbs, but with the juices.
(I do this with fillets of fish as well, especially when there are too few eating to justify a whole fish).

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