- 2cm (3/4 in) piece of root ginger (peeled and sliced thinly)
- 1 stick of lemongrass (outer layer removed, then bruised and sliced)
- 2 spring onions (trimmed and sliced)
- 1 red chilli (de-seeded and sliced)
- 2 tblsp light soy sauce
- 1 tblsp fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 mackerel or 1 whole small–medium fish (such as sea bream, scaled and gutted-ask your fishmonger to do this)
- 1–2 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying (optional)
- to serve:
- 1 tblsp sesame oil
- a few drops of fish sauce (nam pla)
- squeeze of lemon or lime juice
- 1 tblsp chopped coriander
- Place half of each of the ginger, lemongrass, spring onions and chilli into a food processor, along with all of the soy, fish sauce and sugar, and whiz for 1–2 minutes to form a paste.
- Score the fish by making cuts about 5mm (3/4 in) deep at an angle in the skin and rub in the paste. Fill the cavity with the remaining ginger, lemongrass, spring onions and chilli, cover and leave to marinate for 1–2 hours in the fridge.
- Cook on a moderately hot barbecue – or in a large griddle pan or frying pan brushed with sunflower oil and placed on a medium–high heat – for 3–5 minutes on each side or until the skin is crispy and the fish is opaque all the way through.
- To serve, drizzle with the sesame oil and fish sauce, squeeze over some lemon or lime juice and scatter over the coriander.
Rachel's Tip: If you are cooking this dish for quite a few people, you can lay the fish on an oiled oven tray, drizzle a little oil over the top of each fish, and cook under a hot grill for 3–5 minutes on each side or until the skin is crispy and the fish opaque all the way through. This recipe and many more are available in Rachel's book, 'Rachel Allen: Entertaining at Home', published by Harper Collins.