Tea and spice smoked baby snapper
2 whole baby snapper (about 400g each), scaled and cleaned
40g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
125ml apple juice
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
100g jasmine rice
110g brown sugar
2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
½ cup jasmine tea leaves
Vegetable oil, for greasing and frying
1 fresh small red chili, finely chopped
2 bunches water spinach, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
125ml Chinese black vinegar
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
½ cup fresh coriander leaves
Wash snapper in cold water and pat-dry; score flesh 4-5 times on each side. Place ginger, garlic, apple juice, soy sauce and sesame oil in a glass or ceramic baking dish large enough to hold the fish. dd fish and turn to coat.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
Place a bamboo steamer on top, add fish and steam 3-4 mins or until cooked halfway; remove.
Combine rice, sugar, peppercorns and tea leaves in a bowl. Line a large wok with two layers of foil and place mixture on top.
Grease a round rack that fits inside the wok with a little vegetable oil and place over smoking mix. Heat wok over high heat. When mixture is smoking, place snapper on rack and cover wok with a tight-fitting lid or foil.
Reduce heat to medium and smoke for 5-6 mins or until snapper is golden and just cooked through. Remove to serving plate. Leave foil withe smoking mixture under a strong exhaust or take outside until smoke dissipates.
Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to wok or frying pan and heat over high heat. Flash-fry chilli and water spinach until just wilted.
Serve with snapper, black vinegar, shallots and coriander.