Prep Time: 30 Mins
1 Hr 15 Mins
This is an ideal recipe for dinner parties. you feed many people with minimum handling. I cooked mine in a weber BBQ but you could do it in a normal oven at 180°C for 45 minutes.
We all know the health benefits of eating fish, especially oily fish. Fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s loaded with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.
This recipe is using a whole gold band snapper of 2.250 Kg. Cooking a whole fish on the bone is another experience and means you do not have much to do to prepare it. You do not need to know how to fillet it and likely to waste some of the fish.
Here, I am using a technique, “la papillote” to cook the fish. This Method allows the fish to cook in its own steam and juices, which make the fish so tender, moist and so flavoursome.
You could easily replace the snapper for another fish and the Asian flavours with just white wine, shallots and leek if you wanted something more French influenced.
As a guide line I cook the fish in a very hot weber or oven 10-12 minutes per 500g (a pound) of whole fish.
Prepare and gather all your ingredients. Peel your ginger and garlic. Wash the coriander and chili.
Prepare the fish
If you did not catch the fish yourself, it should be already clean and scales off. But still double check that all the scales are off. With a scissors, remove the spike and wings.
A fresh fish should have a pleasant smell. the fish guild should be red, the eye clear and plump.
With a sharp knife, score the fish all the way down to the bone and 2 cm apart.
Open a bit your scoring and let it rest in the fridge. we only score one side, the presentation side.
Prepare the Marinade
Meanwhile, chop roughly your ginger and put it in a clean bowl.
Do the same with the garlic, chop it roughly
Cut your chili in half and slice it. Now all depends of the season and how spicy hot you like your dishes. If you like it hot keep the seeds, if not remove them prior slicing the chili.
Remove the roots and keep them. Chop coarsely the coriander and add it to the bowl.
Add about 6 tea spoon of soy sauce.
Let all the ingredients infuse for 5 minutes.
Prepare the "papillote" the packaged
Meanwhile, on a clean bench, apply a very large piece of aluminium foil.
drizzle a bit of olive oil.
Add some salt.
Add some pepper.
Place the whole fish over the aluminium foil.
Use a spoon to add the marinade inside the fish and push it through the fish flesh for maximum flavour. I am using my fingers as it is a little easier and faster.
Do it through every slice.
Grab the roots of the coriander. No waste
Place them Inside the belly of the fish. Again this is all for flavor and no wastage.
Cover the fish with another large piece of aluminium foil.
Grabbing the bottom piece of aluminium foil and the top piece, fold to seal and enclosed the fish.
Do the same all around the fish and make sure this is well seal and there is no holes anywhere. This is very important for the cooking process. As the fish cooks it release steam. the steam gets trap in the foil and cook the fish faster. If you see a hole just add more aluminium foil and reseal.
Voila, your fish should be ready to cook. You can keep it in the fridge or cook it straight away if your oven or BBQ is ready.
Cooking the Fish
The night, i had few friends over and wanted to use my Old BBQ. So about an hour prior cooking the fish, i prepare my charcoals and make sure they are all very hot and red.
Once my heat beans were ready i just place my fish as it is on the grill.
Closed the lead. get another drink and come back 45 minutes later.
Once you remove the lead, you should see the foil totally plump like a balloon. This tells me that my fish was well sealed in the Aluminium and i am likely to have it done perfectly... If the Aluminium looked flat, it will mean that there was a whole, the steam left the chamber ad the fish maybe a little underdone. Then delicately transfer the fish to a large dish and bring it as it is to the table.
I am always amazed of the reaction of people when they see it... It is like opening a present.... "whouah David it looks amazing" as soon as you open it everyone smells it and get excited to have some.
As i said it is a very nice, easy , healthy way to cook fish. It is a crowd pleaser. It is theatrical and delicious. You can serve this with rice pilaf, steamed greens or just a simple salad.
Do not hesitate to ask questions, comments and share it around.