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Whole Fish Thai-style

Ben O'Donoghue serves up some amazing BBQ Thai Snapper in episode 2 of Drive Thru Australia.


  • 1 whole fish (up to 2 kg). A snapper is used here, scaled and cleaned (ask your fishmonger to do this)

  • 5 tablespoons Thai chilli jam paste in soya oil (bought)

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced, to garnish

  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves to garnish

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges to garnish

  • Marinade

  • 5 coriander roots, washed and chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 5 Thai pink shallots, peeled

  • 1 birdseye chilli

  • 1 tablespoon minced turmeric or turmeric powder

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground white pepper

  • 3–4 tablespoons fish sauce to taste

  • 2–3 tablespoons lime juice to taste

  • ¼ cup coconut cream (skim off the top of a cold can of coconut milk)


  • 1.

    Using a sharp knife, cut incisions along both sides of the fish, about 1cm apart.

  • 2.

    To make the marinade, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Rub the fish with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you prepare your barbecue for direct cooking over a medium–high heat.

  • 3.

    Put the fish onto a sheet of baking parchment and place over direct heat and cook for 8 minutes on one side, then turn the fish over on the paper and cook for another 8 minutes.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile, warm the chilli jam with a little water to make a brushable paste. When the fish has cooked, brush it liberally with the chilli jam paste and cook for a further 1–2 minutes on each side.

  • 5.

    Remove the fish from the parchment paper. Brush with any remaining jam and serve garnished with kaffir lime leaves, coriander and lime wedges.

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