2 whole snapper (1.3kg each), scaled, gutted, rinsed and patted dry
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Thinly sliced stalks from Thai basil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups Thai basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
150ml lime juice
90ml fish sauce
3 cups glutinous rice soaked overnight in cold water
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Season the cavity of the fish and place the lemon slices and basil stalks inside. Oil a roasting pan and place the fish in it. Roast until the fish is cooked through but not dry – about 25 minutes. Leave until cool enough to handle.
Discard the skin and lift the flesh from the bones. Break into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
Heat the oil to a medium heat in a frying pan and fry the basil for about 30 seconds until crisp. Immediately add it to the fish along with the dressing, tossing to combine.
Dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients. Add a little more sugar to balance the acid if necessary, but keep the flavours quite sharp.
Rice: Drain the soaked rice and place in a heavy based saucepan with 6 cups of water and pinch of salt. Cover and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Do not lift the lid during
this time. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve the fish warm or cold, on sticky rice. A salad similar to the one served with the salt and pepper squid would be a nice accompaniment. Serves 6-8