Recipe: James Wallis' whole baked, five-spiced crusted pink snapper with string hoppers and coconut molee

PHOTOGRAPHY: GUY DAVIES

James Wallis, the head chef of Sydney restaurant, Indu, shares with foodservice his recipe for whole baked, five-spiced crusted pink snapper with string hoppers and coconut molee.


JAMES WALLIS’ WHOLE BAKED, FIVE-SPICE CRUSTED PINK SNAPPER WITH STRING HOPPERS AND COCONUT MOLEE

Serves 2

COCONUT MOLEE SAUCE
3 tsp brown onion, finely diced
1 tsp ginger, peeled and chopped
¼ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 green cardamom pods
10 curry leaves
¼ tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp fennel seeds
3 cm piece of cassia bark
1 tin coconut cream
1 tsp coconut oil
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Salt
100 ml water
1 lime, juiced

METHOD

  • Heat a sauce pan and add the coconut oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle, add the remaining spices, onion and ginger, and cook until the onions are soft but not colored and the raw flavour of the spices are cooked out. Add the water, coconut milk and lime juice and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Pass the ingredients through a sieve and discard the spices. Season with salt and serve with the fish.
  • NB. Australian ingredients and spices compliment masalas, Indu often swaps out or adds ingredients such as wattle seed, pepper berry or bush tomato to experiment with new masala blends.


STRING HOPPERS

100 g white rice flour
150 ml water
20 ml vegetable oil

METHOD

  • Place the water and oil in a saucepan and then bring to the boil. Pour the liquid into a bowl containing the flour. Knead the mix together until it is smooth. Next, place the mixture in a string hopper press and then extrude the dough from the press. Place the string hoppers into a steam oven or steamer basket and steam for 5 minutes, or until cooked.


FIVE-SPICE MIX
½ tsp nigella
½ tsp fennel
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp fenugreek
½ tsp mustard seed

METHOD

  • Place all the ingredients on a baking tray and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 5 minutes, or until lightly coloured.


SNAPPER PARCELS

1 pink snapper 800g-1kg, gutted, scaled (Can be substituted with similar sized fish or fillets of fish)
Banana leaf (enough to wrap the fish)
¼ head fennel, shaved
1 lime sliced
Five-spice mix
String hoppers

METHOD

  • Lay the banana leaf on a flat surface and then place in the center the cooked string hoppers. Next coat the fish in the five-spice mix as well as fill the belly cavity together with the fennel. Place the fish on top of the hoppers then top with the lime slices. Wrap the banana leaf around the fish, making a tight parcel. NB. If cooking on a barbecue, wrap an additional layer of tinfoil to protect the banana leaf from the open flame. Cook the fish at 180°C for around 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the fish. Once cooked, remove from the foil packaging, if using, and serve with the coconut molee.


For further information, please visit indudining.com.au.