Tasty Tuesday

Chargrilled Snapper with Hot and Sour Salad

Matt Skinner
Tuesday 6th December 2016

Matt Skinner is one of Australia’s best known ‘wine guys’ – he’s a sommelier, author and columnist, and he’s also a bloody excellent cook. Last year, Matt also launched The Drinks List, an online wine retailer with the sentiment of a bricks and mortar shop. Basically, when it comes to food and an accompanying drink, Matt knows what’s up.

This month, we’re super excited to share some of Matt’s favourite meals to cook for friends, with wines to match – available from The Drinks List, of course. We suggest pairing this month’s recipes with The Drinks List’s Christmas Survival Kit, a collection of 6 wines ready for the festive season!

We’re kicking things off with Matt’s chargrilled snapper and hot and sour herb salad. JUST. SO. GOOD.

There are few things I like more than seafood grilled over charcoal. And while the idea of cooking fish frightens a lot of people, this is incredibly easy to do – the hot and sour herb salad giving this dish a really lovely freshness and lift.

Coupled with a cold, limey bottle of Riesling and you pretty much have my idea of the perfect outdoor dinner. It’s also worth bearing in mind that good cheap fish grills are a staple at most Asian grocers.

Tasty Tuesday is generously supported by The Establishment Studios.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6 people)

For the fish

  • 1 Snapper, cleaned & scaled (mine weighed 2kg)
  • 3 spring onions, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 1 bunch coriander stems and roots (reserve leaves for salad below)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 bunch Thai basil, leaves picked and washed
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked and washed
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked and washed
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves picked and washed
  • 3 spring onions, ends trimmed and finely sliced lengthways
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced lengthways
  • 1 small handful of fried shallots (widely available in packeted form)
  • 2 limes, halved for garnish

For the dressing

  • 30ml Fish sauce
  • 50ml Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Palm sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 small red chilli (optional)

Recipe by Matt Skinner from The Drinks List.  Small ramekins and surface from The Establishment Studios. Plate by Belinda Tee,  Cutipol Cutlery from Francalia and napkin by Mr Draper. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Styling assistant – Natalie Turnbull.


Pour yourself a glass of Jim Barry ‘Watervale’ Riesling 2016 (available from The Drinks List).

Light your charcoal barbecue. You are ready to cook when charcoal is covered in a light layer of white ash. If using a gas barbecue, preheat grill with lid down for 20 mins before cooking.

Wash the fish thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

Fill the cavity of the fish with spring onions, lime and coriander roots.

Gently rub olive oil into the skin of the fish before placing into a wire fish rack ready for grilling.

Place fish rack over an even layer of hot coals, close barbecue lid and grill for 12 minutes, before turning the fish rack over and repeating. The fish skin should be blistered and caught in spots, but definitely not burnt.

While the fish is grilling, assemble the salad by adding the leaves, spring onion and chilli to a large bowl. Set aside.

To make the dressing, pound the garlic, chilli, and palm sugar with a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. Slowly add the lime juice and fish sauce. The dressing should be a beautiful balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Feel free to adjust it to suit your taste. Set aside.

To assemble, carefully remove the fish from the wire rack and place on serving plate. Scatter fried shallots over fish, along with half the dressing. Add the remaining dressing to the salad and toss well, before lying over the top of the fish. Finish with lime halves.

Matt Skinner at home in his kitchen. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins. Styling assistant – Natalie Turnbull.

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