Traditionally, this recipe would have been cooked over a charcoal fire, a split piece of bamboo acting as a clamp to hold the fish over the coals. As most of us cook on a gas barbecue these days, it’s best to use a fisharoo to prevent the fish sticking to the grill, and to help lift it up so it cooks via radiant heat. A fisharoo is a fish-shaped wire cage, which you can find at good barbecue supply shops.
This recipe works best with an oily type of fish. Ask your fishmonger to scale and gut it for you. Serve it with the nuoc cham sauce, some steamed rice and a salad. Any leftover sauce will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.