The Crazy Monkey House motto is: If it has gills, eat it. Our favorite method for eating fish is to cook one whole. If you've never ate the "cheek meat" of a fish, boy are you in for a treat! Cooking a fish this way inevitably leads to chopstick wars as we fight for every last remaining flake. The fish pictured in this picture is a Mandarin fish but any meaty fish will work well. This method involves cooking it in banana leaves, an inexpensive ingredient found at almost any Asian grocer.
Thai-Style Whole Fish
1 large, meaty whole fish (have the fish monger clean and descale the fish)
1 lime, sliced
8 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
10 Thai basil leaves
5 Thai peppers, whole
1. Line the bottom of a fish pan (or any deep baking dish) with banana leaves.
2. Place fish on leaves.
3. Spread the lime slices, lime leaves, basil leaves, and Thai peppers out inside the fish cavity.
4. Cover with banana leaves, tucking the top ones under the bottom ones.
5. Bake in a 350(f) oven for 30 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flaky.
6. Serve with rice, using optional garnishes like nam prik, sriracha, or a bit of soy sauce.