- 1 whole mud fish, 500–700 g, cleaned and gutted
- 150 g minced pork
- 2 wood ear mushroom, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 1 Asian shallot, finely diced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 12 sheets rice paper
- 150 g dried vermicelli noodle, cooked to packet instructions
- 1 bunch perilla
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch coriander
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into batons
- 2 tbsp spring onion oil
- 2 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
- nuoc mam cham (dipping fish sauce)
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.
In a mixing bowl, combine the minced pork, mushrooms, garlic, Asian shallots, sugar, fish sauce and pepper. Mix well then set aside.
Make two deep sharp incisions down both sides of the fish rib cage following the backbone, from the tail up towards the head. Cut where the backbone meets the head and where it meets the tail. Now carefully lift out the rib cage leaving a boneless pocket to stuff the fish.
Using your hands, stuff the pork mixture into the pocket then enclose it with a needle and thread or simply tie with kitchen string.
In a steamer, bring water to the boil and steam the fish for 30 minutes.
Remove the fish and dress with spring onion oil and garnish with coriander and crushed peanuts.
Dip rice paper in warm water and roll with some steamed fish, herbs, cucumber, coriander and dip into nuoc mam cham.