Grilled snapper fillets with spiced sweet potato salad and yoghurt
Grilled snapper fillets with spiced sweet potato salad and yoghurt. Photo: WILLIAM MEPPEM

Neil Perry

Light and flavoursome, grilled snapper is ideal for summer, especially with a luscious tropical dessert to follow.

Any white fish is great served this way. However, mackerel or blue-eye trevalla are well worth considering; they're inexpensive and sustainable, with a wonderful oiliness that goes perfectly with the spice.

Grilled snapper fillets with spiced sweet potato salad and yoghurt
2 lemons
1 cup Greek-style yoghurt
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 x 200g snapper fillets
olive oil

Sweet potato salad
500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
sea salt
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
juice of 1/2 lemon
12 green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tsp finely sliced flat-leaf parsley

Serves 4

To make the salad, place the sweet potato in a large pot and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, season with salt and cook until tender. Drain and carefully place on a plate lined with paper towel.

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onion until tender, then add the sweet potato, spices and a little salt, and toss to incorporate. Add the remaining oil, lemon juice, olives and parsley and toss again until evenly mixed. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon and cut the other lemon into quarters. Place the yoghurt in a small bowl with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice, to taste.

Preheat a grill or pan to hot. Season the fish fillets with sea salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook the fillets, skin side down, for 3 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes or until done to your liking.

Place the sweet potato salad on a serving platter, top with the fish and season with salt and pepper. Serve with yoghurt on the side and lemon quarters for squeezing.

Something to drink: For the grilled fish, try a 2011 Tscharke Girl Talk Savagnin from the Barossa Valley (about $21). Savagnin is an unusual varietal, offering pure fruit characters of juicy green apple and ripe pear, which balance with the snapper and spicy sweet potato.

Black sticky rice with mango and coconut cream

Black sticky rice with mango and coconut cream

500g black sticky rice
1 pandanus leaf, tied in a knot
1 cup crushed dark Indonesian palm sugar
(all the above available from Asian grocers)
1 large ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream (I use the Kara brand; see Hot Tips below)

Serves 4

Rinse the rice under cold running water and place in a pot with the pandanus leaf and 1 litre water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

Remove from the heat and cover the pot with foil or a lid. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the rice to steam until tender. Remove the pandanus leaf.

Meanwhile, place the palm sugar and 11/2 cups water in a small pot and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.

Return the pot of rice to a low heat. Gradually stir in the coconut milk and most of the palm sugar syrup; stir until heated through.

Divide the rice among 4 bowls and place the mango slices on top. Drizzle with coconut cream and the remaining palm sugar syrup.

Hot Tips: This great dessert must be made at least once during mango season. You will see how easy it is. I also love it with bananas, but don't discount other fruit such as figs and custard apples - all wonderful with the texture of the sticky rice.

Kara coconut cream is stabilised so it won't split; it is readily available from Asian grocers and is perfect when you want a creamy texture for desserts.  

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