Grilled Pancetta Wrapped River Fish with Three Cabbage-Rice Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 whole freshwater fish, such as rainbow trout, 4 small fins removed from bottom, eviscerated, and scaled

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large lemons, thinly sliced

1/2 pound pancetta, sliced into thin strips, like bacon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 thick slice ginger

Three Cabbage Rice Salad, recipe follows

Three Cabbage Rice Salad:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapenos

2 tablespoons cilantro, whole leaves

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup scallions, green parts only, cut 1/8-inch thick

1 cup red cabbage, cut into 1/8-inch ribbons

1 cup green cabbage, cut into 1/8-inch ribbons

1 cup Napa cabbage, cut into 1/8-inch ribbons

2 cups cooked basmati rice, cooked with 1 teaspoon paprika, and cooled to room temperature.

Salt and pepper


  1. Using a sharp knife, score the fish on each side. Season the inside with salt and pepper, and place 2 or 3 lemon slices inside the cavity of the fish. Rub the outside of each fish with the slice of ginger, and season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper. Wrap each fish with enough pancetta to cover the flesh, by laying the pancetta side by side in a shingled rectangle, and rolling the fish up in it.
  2. Prepare an outdoor grill or preheat the broiler. If cooking outdoors, spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray. Grill the fillets over high heat, turning once, until the pancetta is crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes per side or until the fish is cooked through.
  3. Plating: On a large oval plate, place a mound of the Three Cabbage Rice Salad and top with fish. Drizzle with a little reserved vinaigrette and sprinkle a dash of paprika on top.

Three Cabbage Rice Salad:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, chiles, cilantro, and whisk in the oil. Put aside a couple of tablespoons, for garnish.
  2. Add the cabbage and scallions and toss well. Season with the salt and pepper and allow to rest to flavor, about 3 minutes. Toss with rice and check for seasoning.