Grilled Whole Red Snapper with Chiles, Lemongrass and Coconut
4 (1-1/2 lb) whole red snapper, cleaned
1 tbsp Tastic Spice*
1 ½ tbps. Coconut oil, melted
2 shallots, peeled
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated (about 2 cups leaves)
2 stalks lemongrass, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 Thai chile or serrano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp fish sauce
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp. olive oil
- Season cavities and outside of fish with Tastic spice. Rub skin all over with coconut oil.
- Thinly slice 1 lime and 1 shallot. Cut another lime into wedges and save for garnish. Fill each fish cavity with lime and shallot slices, a handful of cilantro stems (discard the rest) and the lemongrass.
- Prepare the sauce: Coarsely chop the remaining shallot and juice the remaining lime. In a mini food processor, combine shallot, 1 tablespoon lime juice, the cilantro leaves, the mint, the chile, the garlic, the fish sauce and 1/4 teaspoon Tastic. Pulse until herbs are chopped, then add coconut milk and oil. Continue to pulse until a coarse, chunky sauce forms. (Don’t overdo it; you want a relish-like texture, not a purée.) Taste and add more Tastic, fish sauce and/or lime juice if necessary. (Alternatively, chop everything finely by hand and stir in the coconut milk and lime juice.) Sauce can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Refrigerate until needed.
- Light or heat the grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in basket and grill until blistered and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Poke the fish along the spine; it should be tender but still juicy.) Serve, garnished with lime wedges and mint leaves, with sauce on the side.
*Tastic spice is available at www.chefjjackson.com