Barbecued Whole Fish
While attending a dinner at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta I had the pleasure to meet the chef in charge of the dinner's main course - Barbecued Whole Fish. He was kind enough to share the simple recipe with me.
- 1 whole fish (2-2½ lb) such as sea perch, snapper or grouper
- 1 medium red or yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 slice galangal (blue ginger)
- 2 stems lemon grass, bottom 5 inches only, bruised
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ cup thick coconut milk
- Juice of small green lime or ½ lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch turmeric powder
- 1 kafir lime leaf (optional)
- Clean and scale the fish, dry with towel inside and out.
- Process the onion, garlic, galangal, and lemon grass until fine, then mix in chili powder. Rub about ½ half of the mixture over the first, inside and out, and let stand while preparing the sauce.
- Heat oil and gently fry the remaining mixture for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add coconut milk and all other ingredients and cook, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.
- Pre-heat a grill to 350 degrees. Cook the fish on a greased grill while basting it with the sauce for 10 minutes, then turn over and continue to cook while basting until the fish his done. Test by poking with a knife to ensure that the flesh is white.
- Remove carefully off the grill and place on a large platter with the remaining sauce poured over the top.