Thai Crispy Fish With Tamarind Sauce

Thai cooking is simple and generally described as a harmony of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors. Thai dishes are popularly known to be on the spicy side as chilies are commonly used. Skilful blending of fresh herbs mellows and rounds out the heat. Traditional Thai cooking methods are typically stewing, baking and grilling. The Chinese influenced the Thai chefs with frying, stir-frying and deep-frying. The fish in this recipe is fried to a crisp golden brown skin, but its meat is succulent and tender. The vibrant mouth-watering tamarind based sauce adds a depth a flavor to the fish. Savor this dish with a Thai staple: hot steaming Jasmine rice.


• 1 medium-sized Striped bass
• 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 6 red jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
• a quarter of a yellow pepper, finely chopped
• a handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
• 4 oz. tamarind
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 2 tbsp cooking oil (for the sauce)
• 3 oz. palm sugar
• enough oil for frying the fish


Soak the tamarind in the warm water and set aside.
Score the cleaned, descaled fish on each side. Be careful not to cut through the bone.
Rub salt over the entire fish. This will not only season the fish; it will also drain out excess moisture.
Fry the fish in enough oil for approximately 8 minutes on each side to achieve that perfect crispy golden brown skin.
While the fish is frying, squeeze the tamarind soaked in water. Strain the liquid to make sure there are no shells, seeds nor fibers in your sauce.
Set the fish on a cooling rack to drain the excess oil while you prepare the sauce.
In a pan over medium heat a little oil.
Sauté the garlic and chili for about 3 minutes.
Add cilantro and yellow pepper and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
Pour in the tamarind sauce.
When the sauce boils, add the palm sugar and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the fish sauce. Continue simmering until sauce has reduced and slightly thickened.
Transfer the fish to a plate and pour the sauce on top.

Ideas And Tips:

• When frying the fish turn it only once. Turning too many times may break the fish.

• You may lessen the amount of chili if you do not want it too spicy.

• Coating the fish with flour before frying will lessen the oil splatter and result in a juicier meat.

Thai Crispy Fish With Tamarind Sauce
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