Deep-fried Fish with Chilies
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such as grouper, snapper, or sea bream, cleaned and scaled
|Chili in fish sauce|
How to cook
Prepare chili in fish sauce
- Place the chilies, shallot and garlic (if using) in a bowl and pour over the fish sauce.
- Leave to steep – the longer, the better, as the heat becomes quite mellow with time.
- If using the lime juice, squeeze it in just before serving.
Prepare the fish
- Rinse the fish then pat it dry with paper towel.
- Score the fish by making several diagonal cuts into each side, going almost to the bone.
- Pour the deep-frying oil into a large, stable wok or a wide, heavy-based pan until it is about two-thirds full.
- Heat the oil over a medium–high flame until a cooking thermometer registers 180°C.
- Alternatively, test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a cube of bread – it will brown in about 15 seconds if the oil is hot enough
- Marinate the fish in the fish sauce and sugar for about 5 minutes (fillets will need less time – just a minute or two), turning it once or twice.
- When the oil is ready, shake off the excess fish sauce and deep-fry the fish, carefully turning it once or twice to ensure even colouring and cooking.
- Depending on the size and thickness of the fish, it can take as long as 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the fish as it takes on a deep golden colour.
- Once cooked, remove the fish from the oil and drain on paper towel.
Plate and serve
- Place on a plate and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
- Serve with steamed rice and a bowl of the chilies in fish sauce.
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