Fancy adding an Asian twist to your BBQ? Try this Singaporean snapper recipe!
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Ahead of his appearance at Guinness X Meatopia, Michelin star chef Malcolm Lee gave us this incredible grilled snapper recipe (it also works great with chicken or prawn).
Despite the weather we're having at the moment leading us to believe otherwise, it is officially BBQ season. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned grilling master, it's always good to keep an eye out for new recipes and techniques that can make sure your BBQ party is a level above the rest.
Look no further than Malcolm Lee, head chef of the Michelin star restaurant Candlenut in Singapore. Malcolm will be making an appearance at Guinness X Meatopia 2019 (which we're very excited about) this July, so this grilled snapper (chicken/prawn works too) dish is something you can make at home ahead of the festival.
Just like his restaurant in Singapore, the dish is inspired by his Peranakan heritage. It's not every day you learn about a recipe as unique as this, as the Peranakan culture of Southeast Asia is sadly disappearing with every generation.
The best way to make this dish would be over a charcoal grill, so it would be ideal for anyone looking to add an Asian twist to their BBQ. If you like the sound of this recipe and want to try more of what Malcolm has to offer, get your Guinness X Meatopia tickets before they sell out!
First off, we're going to show you how to make the red sambal (a type of chilli sauce/paste) that will be used as a sauce with the snapper. Here is a full list of ingredients you're going to need:
- Finger red chilli (removed stem) — 128g
- Peeled shallot — 64g
- Peeled garlic — 20g
- Belacan/Preserved shrimp paste — 9g
- Kaffir lime leaf (remove stem) — 3g
- Lemongrass — 16g
- Salt — 3g
- Sugar — 7g
- Oil — 150g
Once you have all of that, simply follow these steps:
- Thinly slice the red chilli and lemongrass, then blend with rest of ingredients except salt/sugar/oil (using food processor to form a rough texture)
- Put all blended ingredients into a frying pan, on medium heat and keep frying till semi dry
- Add in oil and all seasoning, bring up the heat and keep frying till oil split and smell fragrant, off the heat, ready for use
Grilled snapper recipe
Now that you have the sauce ready, it's time to whip up the snapper (no, not the movie). Here is everything you're going to need:
- Snapper — 140g
- Garlic Chive — 2 pcs
- Prawn Sambal (recipe above) — 3 tblsp
- Calamansi lime — 1 nos
- Togarashi — 1 pinch
- Sea salt — 1 pinch
- Lime Juice (unsweetened) — 1 tbsp
Right, so here is how to prepare the star of the show:
- Place snapper on metal plate and use blow torch to torch the skin side to dry up the moisture or pat dry the fish skin and leave it in the fridge uncovered for about 30 mins
- Brush with a layer of oil and place it on charcoal griller with low heat (skin side down)
- Leave it on griller till skin become crispy and snapper is almost cooked
- Flip over the snapper(skin side up) and continue cooking till fully cooked
- Grill garlic chive till charred and cooked, sprinkle a bit of sea salt flake on the grilled snapper
- Heat sambal in a pot and put on serving plate as base
- Cut charred garlic chive into half and dress with some lime juice and sea salt flake
- Place grilled snapper on the sambal and top with dressed charred garlic chive
- Garnish with Micro Fennel and calamansi lime
Chef's top tips
You'd be hard set to find someone anywhere in the world more knowledgeable than Malcolm when it comes to this style of cooking. If you're planning a trip to Singapore some day, check out the Candlenut Instagram for another reason to go.
Here's what Malcolm has to say for anyone looking to make this dish themselves:
Where does the home cook tend to go wrong with this dish?
The problem most people will get would be that the fish skin will stick to the grill.
The important step is to make sure the skin is dry by patting it dry or air in the fridge uncovered for about 30 mins
What are your top tips to perfect this dish?
Be patient, you need to cook the fish on low heat to keep the moisture in and for the fish to have a crispy skin.
Is barbecue/live fire better than the oven?
Yes of course!
And once the home cook has mastered this recipe, what tweaks could be made?
You can change the protein to prawns, squid, octopus or even chicken.
You can also change the sambal into a green sambal paste (sambal hijau) by using green finger chillies or fry the sambal with a little coconut milk to make the texture smoother.
GUINNESS X MEATOPIA will take place at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, on Friday 5 July 2019 (6pm to 10pm), Saturday 6 July 2019 (2pm to 10pm) and Sunday 7 July 2019 (1pm to 7pm). Tickets starting at €59.50. All ticket prices include access to GUINNESS X MEATOPIA, as well as five unique dishes paired with five perfectly matched taster beers, and a choice of a pint of one of the beers available only for the weekend. Enjoy Guinness sensibly. Drinkaware.ie.
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