I absolutely love Vietnamese food. The use of fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, and reliance on herbs and vegetables is my kind of thing. Each Vietnamese dish has a distinctive flavour, this dish uses fish sauce and shrimp paste, however it is not overly fishy, so don’t worry. Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide, so expect to see a lot more Vietnamese recipes.
Just a little tip: Soak the wooden skewers in boiling water for 5 minutes, to stop them from burning on the braai/BBQ.
1 kg snapper/ gurnard, filleted and skin off
8 spring onions
6 garlic cloves
1.5 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp hot curry powder (red)
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp shrimp paste
80 ml fish sauce
3 tbsp sugar/xylitol
3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh coriander
125 g flat rice noodles
1 punnet of sugar snap peas, julienned
3 tbsp raw peanuts, roasted and smashed
Preparation 1 hour
Cooking time 35 minutes
Cut the fish fillets into 4 cm pieces. Soak the skewers in boiling water. Put the white heads of the spring onions (reserving the green stalks), 5 garlic cloves and a small handful of fresh coriander in a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. In a marinating dish add the turmeric, curry powder, yoghurt, fish sauce, shrimp paste, sugar, 2 tbsp of the oil, and the bashed up paste. Add the fish and mix well.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
While the fish is marinating, thinly slice the green spring onion stalks and the sugar snap peas and crush the left over garlic clove. Set aside to stir fry later. Turn the grill on and roast the peanuts, once they have finished roasting, bash them up in a pestle and mortar.
Cooking & preparing the skewers:
Once the fish has finished marinating, you can start making the fish skewers. I made 14 skewers with 2 pieces of fish on each skewer. Leave the left over marinade as you will use it later.
Turn the braai/BBQ on or put a griddle pan on high heat on the stove. The braai should reach 180°C. Before placing the fish on the braai, baste the fish skewers in olive oil. Cook the skewers for 3 minutes on each side, flipping them gently.
Cooking the noodles & dishing up:
While the fish is cooking, place a pot on high heat with boiling water and cook the rice noodles for 3-5 minutes. Place a wok on high heat, warm up a teaspoon of olive oil and add the leftover marinade, cook for 1 minute then add the cooked noodles.
In small frying pan, add a tsp of olive oil and fry the crushed garlic clove for 30 seconds, then add the sliced green spring onions and sugar snap peas for 30 seconds.
To serve: Evenly distribute the noodles, then place the fish skewers on top of the noodles, dress with the cooked greens, bashed peanuts and a wedge of lime.