For the fish and sauce
8 tbsp Vietnamese Marinade
1.5kg monkfish tail on the bone, skinned and butterflied (ask your fishmonger to do this)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
4 sprigs of coriander, leaves only
4 sprigs of Thai basil, leaves only
A handful of toasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
For the Vietnamese Marinade
(Makes about 150ml or enough dipping sauce for 10)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
A handful of coriander, stalks and all
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 birdseye chilli, roughly chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, topped and tailed, roughly chopped
A splash of Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
Juice of 2 limes
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan / 180 °C / 350 °F / gas mark 4. Line a roasting pan, large enough to hold the monkfish tail, with greaseproof paper.
Spread 2 tablespoons of the marinade across the greaseproof paper and place the monkfish tail on top. Make sure the meat of the butterflied monkfish is opened out and spread the remaining marinade over the fish. If you are using a different fish, you may need more or less marinade – just make sure the fish is well covered.
Sprinkle with half the spring onion and roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes. When the fish is cooked, the meat will start to peel away from the backbone.
Transfer to a serving plate and pour the cooking juices over the fish. Garnish with the remaining spring onion, coriander, basil and peanuts (if using). Serve with lime wedges on the side.
To make the marinade
Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blitz until as smooth as possible. Don’t worry if it looks a little ‘bitty’, as it will soften down during the cooking process. You now have the basis for an array of different recipes.