|The fish all prepped and ready for baking
This dish brings so much memories of my childhood. I will help my mother clean and gut the fish from the back. This is because we are stuffing the fish from the back, naturally.
We normally used Jackfish or what we normally call "cecaru" in Malay. I believe it is from the same family as the Amber Jack.
I have tried making this with a table sized trevally, amberjack or the mackerel. I believe any firm flesh fish without a lot of small bones or what they commonly refer to the Y bones.
Mum used a a string fashioned from the dried banana leaf stalk (the middle part of the leaf) but you can easily use a kitchen string to tie up the fish.
Although mum deep fries the whole fish in hot oil I felt like a healthier option will be baking the fish. True enough it tastes just as good as I remember it. Alhamdulillah.
I table size mackarel (cleaned & gutted from the back)
for the stuffing
4 fresh chilis
3 stalks lemon grass (only use the white part)
1 clove garlic
1 onion (large)
2 tsb sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pre heat oven to 375 F or 190 C.
Process stuffing in a food processor until fine, taste the balance of sugar and salt and tweak if necessary. Pour into the opening in the fish. Tie the up the fish to secure the stuffing and place on an oiled baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes and let rest for 10 minutes before digging in.