Grilled Fish Stuffed with Aromatic Vegetables

Grilled Fish Stuffed with Aromatic Vegetables
I learned this dish from Dung, the owner of the homestay in Moc Chau. She marinated the fish to make its taste stronger, and I prefer to keep the sweetness of the fish so as its taste is similar to the grilled fish I bought at Dien Bien market so I only marinated fish with aromatic vegetables and a special important spice which was mắc khén, and didn’t use salt, seasoning, or MSG. The fish after grilled was just fragrant and sweet, which would be just great to be dipped in chẳm chéo. *Chẳm chéo is the traditional dipping sauce of the Thai people in the Northwest, served with sticky rice, or to be the dipping sauce for boiled dishes, grilled dishes, or for sour fruits such as plums, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa fruits, silver berries and cabbage. In Thai, “chẳm” means dipping, “chéo” is a mixture of chili, garlic, and salt. There are many types of chẳm chéo with different names depending on the ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 50minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 50minutes
Cook Time
To marinate fish
  • 4 anabas fish
  • 20gr basil
  • 30gr sawleaf
  • 20gr laksa leaves
  • 25gr dill
  • 15gr cilantro
  • 50gr green onions
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 1 ginger(about 15gr)
  • 2 chilis
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 tsp mắc khén
Chẳm chéo
  • 1 stalk basil
  • 1branch sawleaf
  • 1branch cilantro
  • 1slice ginger (thin)
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 chili
  • 1/2 lemongrass
  • 1 tsp mắc khén powder
  • 1tsp soup powder
  • 1tbsp water
  • 2 bamboo sticks (length 60cm x width 3cm)
  • 1 charcoal stove
  1. Finely chop basil, sawleaf, laksa leaves, dill, cilantro, green onions, lemongrass, ginger, chili, shallots and mix well with mắc khén powder.
  2. Wash anabas fish, scale, cut along the back to divide the fish in half, remove the intestine, marinate with mixture of minced herbs for about 30 minutes.
  3. Fold the fish in half, stuff the herbs in between.
  4. Split each bamboo stick into 3 small pieces, clamp the folded fish piece between the 3 small bamboo pieces (2 pieces below and 1 piece above), fix the fish skewers with a string. You can use a grill instead of a bamboo stick.
  5. Place the fish skewers on the charcoal stove, turn both sides over and over again until the fish is cooked evenly. Let cool, remove the bamboo sticks, lay the fish on a plate. When eating, dip in chẳm chéo.
  6. Chẳm chéo (dipping sauce): Put all the ingredients in a mortar, finely pound to make a thick paste, mix well. Add water to make the mixture slightly diluted, and use as a dipping sauce.

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