Inspired by Colombian seafood dishes (coconut sauce) and red snapper from San Blas fishermen (off Coco Banderos Cays).
Colombians traditionally deep fry individual fish, but I prefer to bake a bigger fish. Serve with plain rice and green vegetables. The sauce is so good it can be made on its own. Also left over fish and sauce mixed with mayonnaise make beautiful cold spread on tartines for lunch! All the family loves it.
2.5 kgs ( or 4 individual) red snapper, cleaned, gutted and scaled
1 cup sliced onion
½ cup minced green shallots
¼ cup lime juice
1 tbsp minced parsley
1 tsp mashed garlic
1 tsp salt
2 cups coconut milk
½ fish stock cube (opt)
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp pepper
1. Make 3 or 4 slashes along the sides of the fish, all the way down to the bones
2. Combine sliced onion, green shallots, lime juice, garlic, parsley and salt. Rub the mixture inside the cuts and the belly of the fish.
3. Refrigerate, covered in the fridge for 15mn or ready to bake.
4. When ready, remove the onion mixture from the fish and drain the lime juice out. Discard the liquid and keep the rest aside. Paint the fish on both sides with olive oil
5. Bake the fish in a preheated 230 deg C for 10mn on each side, or when the flesh easily flakes when inserting a knife. The skin will not crisp up, rather it will fall off and be a little soggy, but that’s OK.
6. While the fish in baking, in a sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion mixture you removed from the fish. Cook on medium heat, until the onion is translucent, about 7mn. Add the coconut milk, fish stock cube (if using), curry powder, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook briefly to blend the flavours, do not let it boil.
7. Place the fish on a large platter, let guests help themselves (or slice off a piece for them , as I do, it’s easier). Spoon the coconut sauce over fish and rice.