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October 15, 2019 1 min read

Crispy Fried Fish Thai Style

  • 1 medium-sized (2 lb) Red Snapper (or other firm white fish)
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 red Thai bird or jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • ¼ yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. tamarind paste (can be found at most Asian grocery stores)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (for the sauce)
  • 3 oz. palm or white sugar
  • Enough oil for frying the fish


  1. Soak the tamarind in the warm water and set aside.
  2. Score the cleaned, descaled fish on each side.
  3. Salt the entire fish. This not only seasons the fish; it also removes excess moisture.
  4. Fry the fish for approximately 8 minutes on each side to achieve that perfect crispy golden brown skin.
  5. While the fish is frying, squeeze the tamarind soaked in water. Strain the liquid to make sure there are no shells, seeds or fibers in the sauce.
  6. Set the fish on a rack to drain the excess oil while preparing the sauce.
  7. In a pan over medium heat 2 tbsp of oil.
  8. Sauté the garlic and chili for about 3 minutes.
  9. Add cilantro and yellow pepper and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
  10. Pour in the tamarind sauce.
  11. When the sauce boils, add the sugar and continue stirring until it dissolves.
  12. Add the fish sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce has reduced and is slightly thickened.
  13. Transfer the fish to a plate and pour the sauce on top.
  14. Serve up with garnishes of green onion, slices of fresh yellow pepper and sprigs of cilantro.