This whole trout can be cooked in the morning, transported in the car and take pride of place on the table. A beautiful, refreshing and delicious dish.
2kg whole ocean trout, cleaned and scaled
2 sheets non-stick baking paper
8 large sheets newspaper
6 eggs, soft-boiled, peeled
leaves of 1 bunch mint
leaves of 1 bunch sweet Thai basil
leaves of 1 bunch coriander
3 tbsp olive oil (Note: this is "olive oil", not extra virgin)
5cm piece ginger, finely julienned
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp salted black beans
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
⅓ cup shao hsing wine
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. First make the vinaigrette. Heat the olive oil in a hot wok, add ginger, garlic, onions, black beans, chilli and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add wine, stir-fry 1 minute. Add sugar, water, tamari and caramelise 2 minutes. Add vinegar and sesame oil. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the extra virgin olive oil
2. Preheat oven to 250C (230C fan-forced). Take ocean trout from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.
3. Place a sheet of baking paper 20cm longer than fish on kitchen bench and place whole fish, length-ways, on top. Place second sheet of baking paper, same size, on top of fish and pat down onto the skin of the fish, then firmly wrap up the ends of the paper to encase the entire fish. Drench newspaper in cold water, then carefully and firmly wrap the fish, just like a parcel, in the wet newspaper.
4. Place fish parcel on a wire rack (so the parcel is not directly on the tray – it overcooks otherwise) that fits inside a large roasting dish and roast for 25 minutes for "rare" fish; 25-35 minutes for medium rare; and 35-40 minutes for well done. When done to your liking, remove fish parcel from oven, immediately remove newspaper, then carefully remove baking paper. Transfer or slide fish onto a large serving platter. The bottom layer of the baking paper should slide away from the fish quite easily.
5. Cut eggs in half and arrange around the fish. Drizzle fish with vinaigrette or serve on the side in bowl. Garnish with fresh herbs.
6. To serve, you can either make clean incisions with a chef's knife along the top of the fish, portioning out individual serves, or you can use a fish slice or spoon to remove the flesh in a more rustic fashion.