After a brief world-cooking hiatus (forced upon me by life's ever-so annoying demands, like work), I'm back and jumping right into the first of the "V" countries with the beautiful South Pacific Island, Vanuatu. After this, I'll only have 6 countries left to go which fills me with a combination of excitement over continued possibilities and more than a little sadness over the impending end of this wonderful journey. But until then, onward with this island stop and citrus baked fish.
|Map Courtesy of Lonely Planet|
Vanuatu cuisine is typical of Pacific Island cooking, with fish, root vegetables, fruit and vegetables being the staples. Most islanders have back yard gardens, and food is plentiful. Papaya, pineapples, mangoes, plantains, sweet potatoes, taro, yams and coconut are all enjoyed. Kava, a non-alcoholic drink with mild sedative properties is the national drink and is mostly used at night due to its relaxing effects. I think I need some of that.
I used Branzino - aka Mediterranean Sea Bass
Citrus Baked Fish in Coconut Cream (Recipe Adapted from Healthy Life)
2 medium whole fish (I used Branzino, weighing about 2lbs. total)
½ tbsp. ground black pepper
½ c. light coconut milk
Salt to taste
Wash and clean fish and place on a softened banana leaf. Thinly slice the lemon and orange and alternate the slices on top of the fish. Sprinkle pepper and pour coconut cream around the fish. Wrap the fish well in about 3 layers of softened banana leaves and bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes or in an earth oven for about 1 hour.
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