Sunday, 17 September 2017
PREPARE: Thai Deep-fried Whole Fish
The crunch of the crispy skin is a wonderful contrast to the delicate flesh of the snapper.
- 1 kg whole snapper, cleaned
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra, to deep-fry
- 2 tbsp tamarind water
- 135 g (½ cup) palm sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- julienned red bird’s-eye chillies, diagonally sliced spring onions, coriander leaves and lime juice, to serve
- 2 coriander roots, cleaned, chopped
- 3 long red chillies, seeded, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 Asian red eschalots
- 1 tbsp dried prawns
Marinating time: 10 minutes
To make the paste, using a mortar and pestle, grind all ingredients until smooth.
Rinse fish inside and out under running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towel.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, make shallow slits spaced ½ cm apart along both sides of the fish. Place fish in a bowl with soy sauce and marinate for 10 minutes. Drain. Pat dry with paper towel.
Fry oil and paste in a saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and 100 ml water.
Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Lift gill flaps on sides of fish.
Pin them open using a skewer inserted through centre of fish. This allows fish to stand upright. Make 3 x 2 cm-deep cuts widthwise across top of fish.
Arrange the fish in an S-shape inside a deep-frying basket.
Fill deep-fryer with oil and heat to 170°C.
Carefully add the fish and cook for 8 minutes or until golden and skin is crisp.
Transfer fish to a platter, spoon over the sauce and top with chillies, spring onions and coriander leaves and drizzle over lime juice, to serve.