|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 32mg||160%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
While fresh whole fish is usually grilled outdoors in Thailand, in certain parts of North America we often have to come up with alternate cooking methods due to weather conditions. This whole fish recipe can either be baked indoors or on an outdoor grill. Deliciously prepared with a sauce made of oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chiles; the fish is scored, and seasoned, then wrapped in foil.
A variety of white-fleshed fish can be used, including red snapper, gray mullet, rainbow trout, or whatever you have that's fresh and good. If you prefer a more authentic approach, bake your fish in banana leaves instead of aluminum foil.
Serve it with steamed rice and your favorite veggies to round out the meal.
For the Sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
8 to 10 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime (or lemon juice)
1 to 3 chile peppers, thinly sliced
For the Fish
1 to 2 whole red snapper (gray mullet, or rainbow trout)
4 tablespoon oil, if grilling
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, garnish
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves, garnish
Lemon (or lime) slices (or wedges), garnish
Steps to Make It
Prep the Sauce and Fish
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat oven to 375 F or heat grill to medium. Stir all sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
Place fish on a cutting board and score it by making vertical cuts an inch or more apart along the length of fish from head to tail. Turn fish over and do the same on the other side.
If Baking the Fish
Place fish on a large piece of aluminum foil or banana leaf. Make sure the foil or leaf is big enough to cover and wrap the fish.
Drizzle 3 tablespoons (or more) of the sauce over the fish, covering both sides. Be sure to spoon some into the cuts you've made, as well as into the underside cavity. Reserve the rest for later.
Bring the long sides of the foil up and over the fish, scrunching it together. Try to keep the foil off the surface of the fish, making a kind of shallow tent over it. Fold up each end and scrunch to secure. If using a banana leaf, fold the sides and ends of the leaf over fish to cover it. With the banana leaf, you want the leaf to come into contact with the fish, as this adds to the flavor.
Bake the fish in the foil directly on your oven rack. If you're worried about spillage, you can place wrapped fish on a baking sheet or tray and place it in the oven. Fish wrapped in banana leaf will require a dish or tray, as a banana leaf is porous.
Bake for 20 minutes or longer, depending on the size and thickness of your fish.
Remove fish from oven and check some of the deeper cuts to see if the inner flesh is cooked. If fish still needs more time, return it to the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked.
To finish the fish, remove from oven and open up the foil, scrunching it around the fish to create a kind of bowl. If using banana leaf, simply open up the leaf, which will have become drier and slightly crispy. Pour remaining sauce over fish and return to the oven.
Turn oven to broil setting, and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the fish is nicely browned and crisp-looking. Banana leaves will become quite brown and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the fish with fresh coriander and basil. Add lemon or lime slices or wedges.
If Grilling the Fish
Brush your grill with a little oil to keep fish from sticking (if using a fish cage, it also helps to brush it with oil).
Drizzle 3 tablespoons (or more) of the sauce over the fish, covering both sides. Be sure to spoon some into the cuts you've made, as well as into the underside cavity.
Grill fish 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the fish, and how hot your grill is). Allow fish to cook for at least 5 minutes before turning it the first time—otherwise, the skin may stick to the grill and tear. Fish is done when inner flesh is opaque and no longer pink or translucent.
Use remaining sauce to baste as your barbecue, or pour over fish right before serving.
To serve, top with fresh coriander and basil, plus slices or wedges of lemon or lime.
Glass Bakeware Warning
Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.
- If using frozen fish, be sure to thaw it thoroughly before cooking. This can be done quickly by soaking fish in a bowl or sink of cool water.
- Use 2 teaspoons Thai chile sauce, plus more to taste, in place of red chiles.