For this recipe ideally use a simple white flesh fish that is easy to bone through the middle. Whilst most fish do well it is best to have a smaller fish that can be had whole.
- 2 whole fish (400-450g)
- sea salt, as desired
- ½tsp pepper, crushed
- juice of ½ a lime
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 spring onions
- few stalks of coriander
- 2.5cm piece of ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 medium green chilli
- 2-3 lime leaves
- 1-2tbsp oil
- aluminium foil, as needed
- light soy sauce, to drizzle
Clean, scale, gut and fin the fish. If possible slit across the middle as if filleting on both sides of the bone and by snipping off the bone at either end pull it out.
Wash and pat dry with a kitchen towel and rub in some salt, some crushed pepper and some lime juice inside and outside the fish and set aside.
Clean and finely shred all the vegetables and the lime leaves as finely as possible and gently toss them all together.
Mix in a little salt and lime juice. Cut a piece of foil approximately just over twice the length of the fish and apply a fine layer of oil on the bottom.
Sprinkle some of the mixed vegetables on the bottom along at the centre of the breadth, up to the length of the fish and place the fish on top. Lay the fish in such a way as to allow the long side of the foil to be brought over to meet the other edge of the foil to seal like a pocket. The easiest way would be to leave approximately 8cm from the edge of the foil and then bring the tail end of the fish to rest there.
Fill some vegetables into the open cavity of the fish and some more on top, then bringing the long side over to meet the edge of the foil near the tail end seal the fish in the foil making a pocket by crimping in the edges very tightly so that any air created inside does not escape. Place gently on a flat tray.
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C. If possible heat the tray with the fish a little bit on top of the hob and then place in the middle of the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes to allow the fish to cook.
Your pocket should look like a well-bloated bag, with steam inside. Serve on a large plate and allow the diner to gently cut open the bag so that they can enjoy the many aromas of the cooked dish. A light soy sauce should be served alongside and drizzled on before eating commences.