By Abalobi’s ‘Fish With A Story’

by Tia

Food stylist Sam Linsell of Drizzle and Dip adds an Asian take to her fish with a story  . Roasted whole with punchy Asian flavours of lime, ginger, garlic and soy with a delicious nuoc cham sauce to drizzle over.

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Works well with: Cape Bream or Carpenter (Silvers)


  • 2 whole Cape Bream or Carpenter
  • 4 sprigs coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 lime or half a lemon, sliced

For the garnish (all optional)

  • crispy fried shallots (store-bought)
  • sliced spring onions
  • fresh coriander
  • lime wedges

For the basting sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • small piece of ginger, grated

For the Nuoc cham dipping sauce

  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped


  1. Make the papaya saladbyusing shredded papaya and carrots and sprinkling over sliced spring onion or shallots, fresh coriander, basil (or Thai basil) and mint leaves, and chopped up roasted salted peanuts. You could also scale up the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce and use some of that to dress the salad.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment.
  3. Cut a few diagonal slits into the flesh of the fish and mix the basting ingredients. Liberally brush the fish with this basting inside the cavity and on either side, making sure to get into the grooves.
  4. Fill each cavity with 2 sprigs of coriander, a sliced garlic clove and a couple of slices of limes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes or until cooked.
  6. While the fish is roasting, mix up the Nuoc Cham sauce and make the salad.
  7. Serve the fish whole on a platter garnished with crispy onions, sliced shallots/spring onions, fresh coriander and the Nuoc Cham drizzled over or served on the side.

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