For the Fish
Whole fish, scaled
Flaky sea salt
Oil, good quality & neutral flavoured
Fresh 'flavourings' (lemon/lime slices, Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, fresh ginger slices all work well)
For the Sauce
½ cup sweet chilli sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 knob of ginger, minced
1 lemon or lime, juiced
3 dashes of fish sauce (or pinch of salt)
1 heaped tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
Kaffir lime leaves or a handful of coriander (optional)
For the Garnish
Fresh herbs (Thai basil, mint, coriander work best)
Sesame seeds, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Rinse the fish and pat dry (using paper towels works well). Cut a few evenly spaced large slits on each side of the fish.
- On the baking tray, drizzle the fish with oil and season generously with salt. Rub the oil & salt over both sides of the fish until it’s well covered.
- Fill the cavity of the fish with your fresh flavour.
- Place the fish in the oven. Cooking time will depend on the size of your fish. Around ten minutes per inch of thickness is a good rule to follow, for example, a small-medium tarakihi takes about 15 minutes. Make sure it’s lost its translucent appearance and don’t forget it will continue to cook when removed from the oven.
- While the fish is cooking, prep your sauce by blending all the sauce ingredients together using a stick blender/blender. Adjust flavours to taste.
- When the fish is done, transfer it to a serving plate. Drizzle the sauce, reserving some to serve on the side. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with herbs or fresh greens around the edges.
Recipe by Harbour Fish/The Macpherson diaries