Chilli Barramundi is cooked in foil with white wine and chilli sauce for an easy dinner or lunch while camping. Cook directly over the coals or on a grill.
Stuffed Spicy Grilled Mackerel
One of Harry Soo’s favorite ways to eat fish while growing up on the tropical island of Penang in Malaysia was to have it grilled with spicy sambal. An accessible twist on a traditional dish, Stuffed Spicy Chili Paste Grilled Mackerel with spicy chili paste is aromatic, spicy, sweet, sour, and salty and will wake up your taste buds. Serve it with steamed turmeric rice.
With roots in Malay and Chinese cuisine, the cooking style called Nonya, was created when Chinese immigrants settled in Malaysia and married the local populace. Thai cuisine in the north and Indonesian cooking in the south further influenced the food.
The spice mixture is cooked, cooled and then stuffed into side pockets cut into the fish. The best fish for this dish is fresh mackerel, which is available frozen and thawed in many Asian grocery stores in the United States (look for Norwegian mackerel). It’s difficult to source all the authentic ingredients, such as candlenuts, torch ginger buds, or fermented shrimp condiment. However, great substitutions are readily available in US, such as lemongrass, tamarind pulp, and bottled sambal olek.
3 tablespoons sambal olek chili paste
6 shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, tender white part only, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Slap Yo’ Daddy All-Purpose rub
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp (mixed with warm water, to get about 2 tablespoons of tangy pulp without seeds)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons oil
2 whole mackerel, cleaned and gutted
cilantro, for serving
lime wedges, for serving
Place the sambal olek, shallots, cloves, lemongrass, all-purpose rub, tamarind mixture, sugar, and oil in a blender. Blend until a smooth paste forms, adding a little water if needed, and scraping down the sides.
Cook the blended spice mix in a nonstick saucepan until aromatic, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool.
Clean the mackerel. Place the whole mackerel on the side and carefully make a deep parallel cut following the length of the spine (you are making a stuffing pouch on each side on the fish). Repeat on the other side. Stuff the spice mixture into the pockets.
Setup a grill with a hot and cool zone.
Drizzle oil all over the mackerel and place onto the hot zone. When there is some char and color, flip over and char the other side. Move to the cool side once the char has been established. Be careful not to burn the mackerel. The oil that you drizzled will create a nice crispy char.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
Serve with and turmeric rice (2 cups uncooked rice, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon salt).