900gm whole snapper or other firm-textured fish, cleaned scaled, and head cut off, or 680gm fillets
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and minced
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tsp fish sauce
1-2 tbsp Fried Shallots
1 tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
Burma, Rivers of Flavor
Rinse the fish.
Put about 2cm water in a 25-30cm heavy skillet and place over medium-high heat.
Add 1/8 tsp of the turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt and slide the fish into the water.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle boil.
Turn the fish over after 3 minutes (2 minutes if using fillets) and cook for another 1-2 minutes,or until it is barely cooked through.
Flake with a fork to test for doneness; the flesh should be opaque.
Remove the fish to a platter and let cool for a few minutes.
Lift the flesh off the bones and pull it into smaller flakes or pieces; discard the skin and bones.
If you have a mortar, pound the shallots, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass to a paste; set aside.
Alternatively, put them in a miniprocessor and process.
Place a wide heavy skillet or a wok over medium heat.
Add the oil, then stir in the remaining 1/8 tsp turmeric.
Add the shallots, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the fish and stir to break it into smaller pieces and to combine it with the oil and flavourings.
Add the fish sauce and stir.
Cook for several minutes, until the fish is lightly touched with gold.
Transfer to a shallow serving bowl, add the fried shallots, and toss.
Add the lime juice and toss again, then taste; add a little salt if you wish.
Serve with lime wedges.