Whole grilled plaice with Vietnamese sauce and papaya salad

Serves 2 Starters and mains

Asian Plaice Lighter 4790



  • 1 x 850g whole plaice or 2 smaller fish, gutted
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • juice 1 lime

For the Vietnamese sauce

  • 5tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2cm piece ginger, scraped and finely grated
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1tsp sambal oelek (spicy chilli paste)
  • juice 1 large lime
  • 1tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1tbsp mint, chopped

For the papaya salad

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 long green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 200g green papaya, skinned, halved, deseeded and roughly grated
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 2tbsp fish sauce
  • 2tsp coconut palm sugar
  • juice 2 limes
  • 10cm piece cucumber, scored and roughly sliced

To serve

  • 5 spring onions, white part shredded and steeped in cold water for 1 hour, then drained
  • 10g small coriander leaves


Deeply score the fish down the backbone on both sides then make cuts radiating at angles from the centre line, like veins in a leaf. Place on a foil-lined oven tray and rub over 1⁄2tsp of oil. Mix together the chilli, garlic and lime juice and then rub into the slashes. Set aside to marinate.

To make the sauce, put the olive oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and ginger and heat very gently on a low heat for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes to soften a little. Add the sambal oelek, lime juice, coriander and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the papaya salad, pound the garlic and chilli in a pestle and mortar until broken down a little. Add the papaya and lightly pound together before adding the tomato. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice and stir well, then tip into a serving bowl with the cucumber.

Preheat the oven 225C/435F/ Gas 8. Pour the remaining 11⁄2tbsp of oil over the fish and bake for 9 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven, set the grill on high and place the rack 10cm from the heat. Grill for 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn. Scatter with spring onions and coriander leaves. Serve on a tray alongside the sauce and salad.

Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes
Asian Plaice Lighter 4790
Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes


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