- 1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) whole red snapper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped cilantro, marjoram or thyme leaves
- 1 small lemon
- 1 medium sized jicama
- 1 medium sized carrot
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Thai chile paste, to taste, optional
To make the Snapper: Have your fish monger clean and scale the red snapper, making sure gills and fins have been removed.
In a plastic bag, marinate the fish in olive oil and your fresh herb of choice (cilantro matches well with the jicama slaw) for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Cut the lemon into small wedges and stuff them into the cavity of the fish.
While the fish is marinating, make the Slaw: Julienne the jicama and the carrot. Mix in the scallion and cilantro. Combine the rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, sugar, and chili paste, if using, in a small bowl to dissolve the sugar and then toss with the vegetables. Place the slaw in the refrigerator and chill.
To grill the snapper: Place the marinated fish into a grilling basket, making sure to wipe off any excess marinade which can cause the fire to flare up. Use a high heat, and grill fish for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness at its thickest point. Make sure you only turn the fish once. If you don't have a grilling basket, try wrapping the fish in a banana leaf, it will help prevent the fish from falling apart, while allowing the flavor of the grill to penetrate the snapper.
To bake the fish: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Transfer the marinated fish to a large, well-greased oval ceramic casserole or roasting dish. A large oval saute pan also works well. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes per inch of thickness at the thickest part. The fish is done when the thickest part has a moist and juicy appearance. Do not cook until flaky, this means the fish is overdone and will taste dry. Check the readiness of the fish by gently lifting the fillet away from the bone along the dorsal fin near the head. An instant thermometer can also tell you when the fish is done. It should read approximately140 degrees F.
To serve, spread the jicama slaw onto a large oval serving dish, and place the grilled fish on top for a wonderful looking (and tasting) dish.