Thai-style steamed red snapper

Thai-style steamed red snapper

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Preparation time
less than 30 mins


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Cooking time
10 to 30 mins


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Serves 2


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By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen[row]


  • 4 red snapper fillets, pin-bones removed and skin lightly slashed on 2 fillets

For the filling

  • 1 green chilli, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander stalks
  • 6 raw king prawns, shells removed
  • 1½ tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2cm/1in fresh root ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime, juice only

For the lemongrass sauce

  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 100ml/3½fl oz white wine
  • 2 lemongrass sticks, finely shredded
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 150g/5½oz unsalted butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the prawns

  • 4 king prawns
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
  • coriander cress, to garnish


  1. To make the filling, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender to a rough paste.

  2. Spread the filling on the flesh side of 2 of the red snapper fillets, and place the other fillets on top, skin-side up. Tie with string in 4 places so they don’t fall apart or curl up while cooking.

  3. Place a steamer over a pan of simmering water. Put the fish fillets onto a plate and place inside the steamer. Cover and steam for 6–8 minutes, or until cooked through.

  4. To make the lemongrass sauce, place all of the ingredients, except the butter, in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to 1–2 tablespoons. Slowly whisk in the butter until it is melted and incorporated. Strain the sauce into two warmed bowls and season with salt and pepper.

  5. To make the prawns, heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the prawns and the chilli and stir fry for a few minutes until the prawns are cooked through.

  6. Remove the string from the red snapper and place into the bowls. Dot the cooked prawns around the fish and garnish with the coriander cress.