While Luke Nguyen uses the locally abundant Telopea fish to prepare this typical Dai-style dish from China, you could also use sole, flounder or baby snapper. This is a great dish for the barbecue and needs little else but steamed rice and a cold beer.
- 2 lemongrass stalks, reserving the long green leaves
- 1 long red chilli, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 whole Telopea fish, cleaned (or sole, flounder or baby snapper)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Finely dice the white part of the lemongrass, reserving the green leaves. Soak the leaves in cold water and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the diced lemongrass, chilli, garlic, ginger, spring onion and soy sauce. Mix well and set aside.
Lay the fish on a chopping board. Using a sharp filleting knife, start from the spine of the fish and create a fillet by slicing down to the belly, without cutting the fillet off the body.
Stuff the inside of the fish with the lemongrass mixture. Close and secure the filling using lemongrass leaves.
Brush the fish with the oil. Chargrill for 10 minutes, each side, over medium-high heat.
Remove the lemongrass leaves and serve.