Indonesian-Style Branzino with Shallot Sambal

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Indoesian Branzino

A recent trip to the island of Bali inspired this mouthwatering, aromatic recipe. Branzino (European seabass) is mild and sweet with a flakey white flesh that pairs beautifully with the robust flavors of Southeast Asia. Pour a glass of Pinot Gris or Riesling and you’ll have yourself a fantastic feast!

Serves: 4
Difficulty: easy
Active prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 16-20 min
Special tools: food processor, fish rack for grill (optional)Make ahead: Sambal and spice paste can be made one day ahead


Shallot Sambal
6 shallots, peeled
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Fresno (red) chilies, seeded
1-2 red Thai pepper or other hot pepper, seeded
5 Kaffir lime leaves (both parts)
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and finely chopped
1 t salt
1/4 t ground white pepper
1/4 c coconut oil
juice of a lime (2 T)

2 whole branzino (or 2 lb firm white fish fillet)
juice of 2 limes
6 macadamia nuts, smashed
2 shallots, peeled
3 clove garlic, peeled, smashed
2 t turmeric
1 t ground coriander
2 t salt
2 t coconut oil


Shallot Sambal
Cut shallots in half, then slice very thinly. Place in a medium bowl and add minced garlic. Thinly slice peppers and Kaffir leaves and add to bowl with lemongrass, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine. Place coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat; add shallot mixture. Cook 2 min, add lime juice, then remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Our recipe is medium spicy; add more or less chilies as desired.

Rinse fish with cold water and pat dry. Score each side three times. Drizzle fish with lime juice, gently rubbing it in. Set aside on a plate. Place all other ingredients into a food processor bowl and work into a smooth paste. Rub fish with spice paste, getting it into all the crevices. Heat the grill to medium-low, then grill the fish approx. 8-10 min per side, depending on the size of the fish. If not using a grill fish rack, avoid moving the fish while grilling to prevent it from sticking. Serve fish alongside lime wedges, Shallot Sambal and steamed white rice.