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Grilled Stuffed Fish, Dai Style

Fish and Seafood

Grilled Stuffed Fish, Dai Style
1 two-pound fish, cut in half, the skin not separated, and debone the fish and discard the bones
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup coarsely chopped scallions
1/2 cup minced mostly fat from a piece of belly pork
1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 slice onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, optional
1 to 2 pieces of congrass or banana leaves or aluminum foil and string
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, if using aluminum foil
1. Dry fish inside and out, then cut slashes about two-inches apart on the skin side, being careful not to cut more than one-quarter-inch deep, and not all the way through the flesh.
2. Rub both sides first with ground pepper, then with the coarse salt.
3. Using a mortar and pestle, pound scallions, the fat, chili pepper pieces, the chopped garlic and onion, and the coriander, if using it, making a coarse paste.
4. Take one teaspoon of the paste and rub it on the skin side of the fish, spread the remaining paste evenly on one side of the flesh of the fish, and cover with the other side.
5. Pull off a few thin pieces of the congrass or the banana leaf to use as string; or oil one side of the aluminum foil; and wrap one or the other around the fish and tie to hold the filling in and the sides together around the stuffed fish.
6. Grill over charcoal about five minutes per side, but grill each side twice, then remove the wrapping or not, as desired, and serve.

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