Bring a slice of Vietnam into your kitchen with this fresh, clean and amazingly delicious snapper dish. A gorgeous and fragrant marinade encases the soft flesh of the fish and that is combined with fresh herbs, sweet, crunchy green mango, fiery chilli and crispy toasted coconut. All of these elements are wrapped up in rice paper, resulting in a very exciting meal that is easy enough to make again (and again). I made this entire plate for two of us and we happily devoured it. If you have a few other things on your table I would say it could comfortably feed four people. If you want to make more, you can use a bigger fish and cook it for longer, or two fish. This will also work well with fish fillets. Any white fish can be substituted for snapper. Glass noodles stir fried with kecap manis and chilli are also a lovely addition to the inside of the rice paper rolls. Rice paper, kafir lime leaves, lemongrass, turmeric, Thai herbs and Vietnamese chilli sauce are all available from Asian grocers. I buy shredded coconut from the health food store.
Vietnamese Snapper Wraps
A whole snapper, cleaned and scored on both sides
4cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2cm piece of turmeric, peeled
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
5cm lemongrass, roughly chopped
3 kafir lime leaves (or substitute zest of one lime)
large handful of coriander
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tbspn soy sauce
1 green mango, peeled and julienned
1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 bunch Vietnamese/Thai basil
1 bunch Vietnamese/Thai mint
a few lettuce leaves (I used iceberg)
a handful of shredded coconut (I used Loving Earth brand)
Chilli sauce (I used a Vietnamese one)
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper (this makes clean up very easy).
For marinade, combine all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse to a paste. Spread the marinade over both sides of the fish and in the cavity. Bake the fish for 25-30 mins depending on the size of the fish. To check if the fish is done, stick a fork or knife into the thickest part and look at the flesh. If it comes away easily from the bone, it is ready.
In a non stick fry pan, dry fry the coconut until it is golden brown and toasty. Set aside to cool.
To serve, arrange the mango, cucumber, herbs and lettuce on a plate. Add chilli sauce and the toasted shredded coconut.
To assemble, snap the rice paper rounds in half so you have a semi circle. Briefly submerge the rice paper in water (I have a bowl of tepid water on the table and a tea towel next to it to absorb any excess water – the idea is just to moisten the rice paper enough to make it malleable). load up the rice paper with fish, herbs, greens, coconut and chilli sauce. Fold over one end and roll the rice paper and everything inside into a cylindrical shape. Eat and enjoy.
An alternative to rice paper is to use iceberg lettuce leaves and wrap them in the same way.