Man Food

Spice-crusted whole snapper

Looking for an alternative lunch option to yet another Sunday roast? How about this little number courtesy of Vivek Singh, executive chef and founder of The Cinnamon Club. Big flavours, big impact, minimal fuss.

"This is a great recipe for a spice roasted whole fish," says Vivek. "It’s quite flexible in the sense that you could use a wide variety of fish as long as it’s a good size to serve one person from each fish. The firm texture of red snapper makes it ideal for roasting and works really well with the flavours from the spices."

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Serves 4
4 whole snapper 350-400g each, bass or bream, cleaned of guts and fins and tail trimmed
4 tablespoon red chilli powder
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp ground turmeric
juice of 4 lemons
lemon wedges, to serve
4 tbsp clarified butter to baste

For the spice crust
250g chopped fresh coriander
12 garlic cloves
2 inch piece of ginger
6 tablespoons coriander seeds, roasted
5 tablespoon cumin seeds, roasted
4 teaspoon black peppercorns, roasted
1 tbsp red chilli powder
3 teaspoon salt
2 tsp sugar
4 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil

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Method

Slash the fish 2 or 3 times on each side with a sharp knife and rub in the salt, red chilli powder and lemon juice. Set aside for 30 minutes.

To make the spice crust, pound all the dry ingredients using a mortar and pestle, to a coarse paste, adding the oil gradually.

Apply the spice crust on both sides of the fish to form an even coating. Use the left over marinade to fill the belly of the fish.

Place the fish on a baking tray and cook in an oven preheated to 200°C/380°F/Gas Mark 5 for 15-18 minutes. Should the fish start to get too much colour, reduce the temperature to 180deg C after 6-8 minutes and turn the fish around for even cooking.

Baste with clarified butter. You may need to complete the cooking using kitchen foil to cover. This would protect from the skin getting too much colour and the spice crust getting burnt.

Serve the fish with coriander mash and /or green salad, accompanied by lemon wedges.

Cinnamon Club, The Old Westminster Library, 30-32, Great Smith Street  London SW1P 3BU
020 7222 2555