Cuttlefish with John Susman's nam jim sauce recipe

I'm no expert on Asian food, but I love it. I relish trips to Australia to eat with some of the chefs there who have the most amazing understanding of Asian flavours. This very simple dish was shown to me by my pal John Susman. He's
my fish guru in the southern hemisphere and we have travelled a lot together
in search of the finest seafood experiences. I think we both agree that cuttlefish would be among them. This sauce is also very good with prawns (shrimp).

Serves 4

Small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) with stalks
3 garlic cloves
2 red chillies (chiles), deseeded and finely chopped
Sea salt
2 shallots, finely chopped (small Thai red ones are best)
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp grated palm sugar
3 medium cuttlefish, cleaned and prepared (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
Olive oil

Preheat the grill to hot, or fire up the barbecue (if barbecuing, ensure the flames have died down and the coals are glowing and covered with white ash before cooking).

Make the nam jim. Crush the coriander, garlic, chillies and salt to taste to a paste in a pestle and mortar.

Throw in the shallots and crush. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to taste and balance the flavours by adding more of any of these ingredients – you want salty, sweet and hot.

Slice the cuttlefish from top to bottom and lay it flat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts about 1cm / ½ inch apart, first one way and then the other, on the inside of the cuttlefish, making sure the depth of the cut is just halfway through the thickness.

Brush with olive oil and season with salt, then grill or cook over coals, with the cut side nearest the heat, until charred and golden – about 8 minutes. Spoon the dressing liberally over the fish and serve.

• This is an edited extract from Fish Easy by Mitch Tonks (Pavilion, £19.99). Order a copy for £15.99 from the Guardian bookshop

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


comments powered by Disqus