Yield
Serves 4 as a main course salad

A simple baked fish dish -- but if you wanted, you could serve it equally as well as a marinated raw dish. Remove the skin from the fish, slice it small enough, and there’s no need to actually cook the fish at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 5 oz (600 g) snapper fillet, scaled and pin-boned (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
  • 1 large grapefruit (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml, 2 fl oz) fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml, 2 fl oz) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml, 4 fl oz) grapeseed oil or canola oil (non-GMO)
  • 3 spring onions (scallions)
  • 10 Vietnamese mint leaves, washed and chopped
  • 4 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley stalks and leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1 birdseye (bullet) chili, chopped (seeds and all!)
  • 2 Lebanese (or other small short) cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthways, using a mandoline
  • 1 handful cilantro (coriander), leaves picked and washed
  • 1 small handful mint leaves, washed and torn

Method

Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC, Gas 7). Cut the snapper fillet into eight pieces. Arrange the snapper portions in a baking dish, so no pieces are touching each other.

The grapefruit here is very important. First slice the top and bottom off using a sharp knife, then carefully remove the skin and the white pith, starting from the top and working down to the bottom, as if you are following the lines of a soccer ball. Once this is all done, and working over a bowl to catch all the juices, slice between each vein to get a perfect segment. Each segment we are going to cut into five portions and place in a dish for later; also reserve all the juice.

Pass the grapefruit juice through a sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and grapeseed oil. Spoon half the dressing over the fish, then pop the fish in the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until cooked.

Chop the spring onions finely, placing the green parts into the remaining dressing mixture and the white bits in a separate bowl.

To the dressing, add the Vietnamese mint, parsley, chili and the grapefruit segments; set aside.

To the bowl with the white spring onion bits, add the cucumber, cilantro and mint, then dress with a little dressing.

Arrange the salad around a large shallow serving bowl or platter. Place the snapper portions on top, drizzle with as much dressing as you desire, then serve straight away.

From Mr. Wilkinson's Well-Dressed Salads by Matt Wilkinson, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers 2015.