Braised Snapper with Star Anise & Cinnamon Bark
2 coriander roots, scraped and cleaned
2 star anise
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
50ml chinese cooking wine
2 tablespoon rock candy, pounded to a power
100ml oyster sauce
4 cups stock (chicken or fish)
3cm piece cinnamon bark
1 whole snapper, cleaned and scaled
A splash of fish sauce
A handful of coriander leaves
Ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Pound the coriander roots, 1 star anise, garlic, ginger and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle to a uniform paste.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a heavy-based pot and fry the paste in as little oil as possible until crisp and fragrant.
Deglaze with the cooking wine, then add the rock candy, oyster sauce and stock. Bring to the boil and skim. Lower the heat to a simmer and taste – it should be sweet, aromatic and salty.
Add the cinnamon bark and remaining star anise. Set aside.
Score the fish on both sides and douse with fish sauce. Drain and place in a braising pan, deep enough to hold all the hot liquid.
Cover the fish with the liquid then cover with baking paper and foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the fish from the oven and discard foil and baking paper. Let the fish rest for 10 minutes.
Lift the fish out with 2 spatulas and place on a serving dish. It should be fragrant and a light tan colour.
Bring the braising liquid back to a simmer, check the seasoning and strain enough liquid over the fish to half-cover it.
Garnish with coriander, a little white pepper and crisp-fried garlic.
Junior Boys – In The Morning (zSHARE)