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Deep Fried Snapper With Sticky Tamarind Sauce


    1 x whole snapper (450-500g), scaled and cleaned

    1/2 tsp salt

    Tamarind sauce:

    1 x garlic, chopped

    1 x fresh red chili, chopped

    1/2 shallot (20g), chopped

    2 Tbsp palm sugar

    1 Tbsp white sugar

    2 Tbsp tamarind puree

    1 Tbsp fish sauce

    2 Tbsp water

    1 cup of canola oil



  • Red fresh chili
Filed under: Dinner, Seafood, Thai
Submitted by: Sachie 14 January 2016

Nothing makes people go "wow" more quickly then when a whole fish is presented in front of them. In

South East Asian and Thai cuisine, it is very common to cook the fish whole - learn not to be scared of

bones! This is because the flavour stays in the fish, and the flesh won't be overcooked. Frying is also a

great a way to cook fish since fish can get very tough when cooked for long- deep frying cooks it quickly,

locks in all the moisture and keeps the flesh soft. Tamarind is one of the key components in Thai cooking

and readily available in New Zealand so we can get that special Thai flavour even here! The sweetness

and sourness of the tamarind with this fish is amazing, and I prefer using a smaller fish so it can fit in my

frying pan. Serve on a big plate, drizzle the yummy sauce all over and garnish with coriander. You can eat

it traditionally by sharing it with the table, like most Asian dishes. I must always have this dish when I'm

out and this is on the menu!!

Prep time:
10 minutes
Cooking time:
20 minutes


1. Score 3 lines on both sides of the snapper and rub salt on both sides

2. Put 1 cup of oil in a wok / frying pan (I used 28cm frying pan) and heat up. Once the oil is hot enough, slide

the snapper gently (be careful not to splash the oil onto yourself!) Cook for 5 minutes and flip over gently

to cook the other side for another 5 minutes or until cooked through

3. Once the snapper is cooked, put it on top of the kitchen paper to drain the oil

4. Place another frying pan over medium high heat and add 2 Tbsp of oil (I re-use the oil that I used to cook

snapper) . Add garlic, fresh chili and shallots and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients

(palm sugar, white sugar, tamarind puree, fish sauce and water) and cook until sauce has


5. Place the snapper on a serving plate and drizzle the sticky tamarind sauce on top and garnish with coriander

and chili.

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Tamarind is now available in the market in many forms. Dried tamarind is available all year round. Carefully press the packs to determine if the tamarind is soft when you buy the packaged variety. Too many seeds means too little pulp, so be careful the lumpy package. Tamarind in dark brown tones is preferable, it gives a rich color cooked in the dish and tend to stay fresh longer. If you need to store Tamarind for a longer period of time, choose a medium ripe variety with shining seeds. Keep in an airtight container. Some recommend the pinch of some stone salt to prevent the fruit spice forever dehydrated at your kitchen As ripe tamarind is picked, "peeled" and dried, it tends to collect dirt. Ripe tamarind is not only attractive to humans: it also attracts insects. So, be sure to check for plague-hit products. - William

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