Recipe for Grilled Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Vietnamese Rice-Paper Wraps and Coconut-Lime Dipping Sauce
Serves 4 as a dinner main course
Coconut-Lime Dipping Sauce
can coconut milk
1 T fish sauce
jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 T culantro, chiffonade
cup lime juice
1 T rice-wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to serve. Place into individual ramekins or dipping bowls (one for each diner).
Grilled Red Snapper in Grape Leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh Thai basil
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 cucumber, deseeded and julienned
1 package Vietnamese rice vermicelli, cooked according to instructions
Red oak lettuce leaves
Bibb lettuce leaves
One 7-pound whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled
1 jar grape leaves in brine, rinsed in water
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
In a large serving bowl, assemble herbs, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and rice noodles. Allow space for grilled fish.
Preheat grill. Stuff stomach cavity of fish with lemon slices and thyme; season fish with salt and pepper. Wrap body of fish in grape leaves until surface of fish is completely covered. Brush hot grill grates generously with oil. Carefully place fish onto grill. Grill 8 minutes on one side and carefully turn. Grill an additional 8 minutes, or more if necessary. Place grilled fish in serving bowl with herbs and noodles. Serve family-style.
1 package dried Vietnamese rice papers (galettes de riz)
1 bowl very hot water
To make a roll, dip a rice paper into a bowl of hot water. Quickly turn the paper so that the entire surface comes in contact with water. It will start to soften quickly. Be careful not to leave it in the hot water for too long or it will tear. Place softened rice paper on a plate and arrange several small pieces of fish, herbs, vegetables, noodles and lettuce at one end of the roll. Roll it away from you once. Fold sides over and roll to the end of the paper. Serve with Coconut-Lime Dipping Sauce. After making the first one, you'll realize how easy this is!
From Forklore: Recipes and Tales From an American Bistro by Ellen Yin (Temple University Press)