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Vietnamese-Inspired Snapper with Lemon Grass, Ginger, Mangoes, and Mint

Yield Makes 4 servings


  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 lemon grass stalks, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 (8-ounce) yellowtail snapper fillets
  • 3 cups hot cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • Garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro and mint sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add shallots, ginger, and lemon grass. Sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in clam juice and next 7 ingredients to make stock; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour. Pour stock through a wire-mesh strainer into a large skillet, discarding solids.

  2. Bring stock to a boil in skillet; add snapper, skin side up, to skillet. Reduce heat until stock just simmers. Cover and poach snapper 8 to 9 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

  3. To serve, spoon 3/4 cup hot cooked rice in center of a shallow bowl; top with poached snapper. Spoon broth over the fish, and arrange sliced mango around fish. Garnish, if desired.

  4. Chicago's Brian Duncan, wine director at downtown Chicago's BIN 36 Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Market and BIN 36 Lincolnshire, brings an innovative touch to the Windy City's dining scene. Brian's wish to demystify wine for the consumer results in the restaurant's creative, approachable list of 50 wines by the glass and almost 400 by the bottle. Working closely with California winemakers, Brian created BIN 36 Brian's Blends--a collection of 12 (and counting) wine blends--to pair with food or enjoy on their own. Here, Brian selects wines to accompany this Asian-inspired dish.

  5. "This beautifully complex and aromatic dish will sing loud and clear with the exotic and racy Fitz-Ritter Gewürztraminer Spätlese from the Pfalz region of Germany ($14). There is sufficient acidity in the wine to balance the richness of the coconut milk while simultaneously addressing the sweetness and acidity of the mangoes."