Magic Fish Dish

This is my new favourite way to cook fish. Marinade it, then wrap it up in foil and grill over coals. Failing that, grill in your frypan.

Pluses: yummy fish that cooks quickly with little mess and not too much smell. The downside is the waste of one time use foil. If I could get some banana leaves instead, I would use them and compost them afterwards.

The inspiration?

A roadside stall in Gasa, near Jinhong China. Entrepreneurs had set up shop near a roundabout. You picked your choice of food, and the stall holder would grill it over coals for you.

I have tried this recipe with salmon, monkfish, tuna, barramundi and leatherjacket.

The only one it didn’t work for was tuna. Mainly because if I don’t sear tuna in a very hot pan, it tastes to me like it came out of a tin.

This serves two.

1-2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemon, bashed with the pestle and thinly sliced
1 spring onion (scallion), eschallot or small onion, sliced finely
Fresh ginger
3 birds eye chillies, to taste
Lemon juice
Olive oil

Fish – even thickness throughout

Bash together all ingredients in your mortar and pestle except for the lemon juice, olive oil and fish. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the marinade, enough to make a thick paste.

Spike the fish all over with a fork, leaving it in the bag you got them in. Tip the marinade into the bag, and rub all over from the outside of the bag. Look ma – no grubby fingers.

Leave to stew a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably overnight. I have even left this to stew for three days, had it for breakfast and it was FAB.

Seal up each piece of fish in a piece of foil: you want to make an air tight packet as much as you can.

Heat up your frypan to medium hot.

Cook fish, turning once. If it is a fillet or cutlet, this will take about seven minutes. Take off the heat if you are otherwise distracted before serving.

My fish:

Foil grilled fish

Look! The bag has steamed the fish in the marinade, yet it has yummy burnt crunchy bits from the frypan.

Serve hot accompanied with the juice from the bag.

I dare you not to gobble it all up and declare it delicious.

What dish have you been inspired to recreate from your travels?


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