created: 2004-07-18 22:43:55
This is from Nigel Slater's Appetite. Don't skip the dipping sauce. We sometimes add some lime zest in the mix, also.
A small, whole fish per person -- sea bass, trout, or porgy, cleaned hot peppers -- 2 or 3 small ones per fish lemon grass -- 2 stems per person, or 6 to 8 lime leaves rice wine -- a small glass cilantro -- a few sprigs Set the oven at 400 degrees. Lay each fish on a piece of parchment paper or foil. Finely slice the hot peppers and bash the lemon grass stems so they splinter but still stay together. Tuck the smashed lemon grass or the lime leaves, scrunching them up to release their zest, inside the body as well as over the fish, then scatter the peppers on top. Pour over the rice wine and tuck in a few sprigs of cilantro and some salt. Fold the paper over and seal with a fold and a paper clip or two. You can leave it like this for an hour or two. Bake until the fish is juicy and fragrant (you have to peep inside to see). A 1-pound sea bass will take about twenty minutes. Dipping sauce: Boil an equal amount (say, 6 tablespoons) of rice vinegar and sugar. When it starts to become syrupy, remove it from the heat and add a tablespoon of dark soy sauce and a couple of finely chopped small, hot red peppers. Stir in the juice of a lime and use this as a dip for each mouthful of fish.