Chargrilled lemongrass tilapia

Chargrilled lemongrass tilapia

By
From
Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Serves
4
Photographer
Stuart Scott

When I arrived in Xishuangbanna, I was surprised at how much it resembles Thailand. It was hot, humid and tropical, and I noticed lemongrass was abundant in this area. Throughout the markets, street-food stalls would be chargrilling this aromatic fish dish, which got me hooked and made me curious to try it out for myself. It may be di•fficult to find the upper green long leaves of the lemongrass to tie the fish with, if you don’t actually grow it yourself in the garden. If so, just peel each outer layer of the lemongrass stem until you have enough to cover the chargrill, then cook your fish on top of that.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 whole lemongrass stems
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1/2 long red chilli, finely sliced
2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
600g whole tilapia or snapper, cleaned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method

  1. Cut off the long green stems of the lemongrass, then cut down along the stems to separate the leaves. Soak the leaves in a large bowl of warm water for 20 minutes to soften them a little.
  2. Meanwhile, finely dice the white ends of the lemongrass, then place in a mixing bowl with the spring onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and soy sauce. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Lay the fish on a chopping board. Using a sharp filleting knife, start from the head end of the fish and create a  fillet by slicing down from the spine to the belly, but don’t cut the fillet off the body — just leave it lying open, and still attached to the bone along the belly.
  4. Now spread the lemongrass mixture over the exposed part of the fillet, then close the fish back up. Tie the reserved lemongrass stems around the fish to keep it closed, or secure the opening with toothpicks.
  5. Heat a barbecue chargrill or chargrill pan to medium–high. Brush the fish with the vegetable oil, then chargrill for 10 minutes on each side, or until the ‡flesh‡ flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cut away the lemongrass leaves and serve.
Tags:
Greater
Mekong
Luke
Nguyen
Red
Lantern
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
SBS
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