- One whole Tilapia (or any Snapper or Sea Bass), gutted with all the outer fins scissored off. Slit the inner of the belly a little towards the tail, then press and flatten it out like a butterfly so that the fish can stand as shown in the image below. Simply rub the fish with a splash of Sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, Olive oil (or normal cooking oil is fine) and a dash of Black Pepper.
- A shit load of coarse salt…LoL (normal table fine salt will be too salty). Seriously, U really do need quite a bit to cover the whole fish. A little Cornstarch and water.
- The normal assortment of fresh herbs to stuff into the fish belly, not only just to get rid of the fishiness but also for flavors. Here The Viand has got sliced Lemon, smashed Ginger, smashed Garlic, Lemongrass, red Chili, Scallion and Parsley (the stem are especially flavorful).
Mix the Salt, Cornstarch and water well to form a paste (kindda like wet sand). Lay a layer of Aluminium foil of Baking paper on a tray, for easy cleaning after baking. Lay a layer of Salt, large enough surface area for the fish to sit on. Stuff all the Side Ingredients into the Fish’s belly and place it on top. Cover the Fish with Salt, pack tightly, making sure the fish is cover entirely. Pop it into a pre heated Oven @ 220c for about 30 minutes. Let it rest for abt 10-mins b4 serving. Serve it as it is and crack open the crust at the dining table. WoW..what an visual and olfactory effect !!! LoL