This Thai Fried Fish is so delicious, you're sure to love the results! Any firm, white-fleshed fish fillets can be used for this recipe - cod is excellent, as is snapper, halibut, talapia, or whatever is available where you live. The fish is slathered with a Thai spice paste, then either pan-fried or deep-fried (it's great both ways). Finish the dish with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, and serve with a simple Thai condiment (recipe included here). This dish involves a number of steps, but I find the results are well worth it. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2-3
- 2-4 white-fleshed fish fillets, enough for 2-3 people (snapper, cod, talapia, etc...)
- 1/2 cup compressed cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro, leaves & stems
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, cut into slivers with scissors (available frozen at Asian stores), OR substitute 2 tsp. lime zest
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. sherry or cooking sherry)
- oil for frying (I used coconut oil)
- FLOUR MIXTURE:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
- THAI CONDIMENT:
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp. white sugar (to taste)
- 1 fresh-cut red chili, minced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (from the spice aisle)
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the 'flour mixture' ingredients and stir. Set aside.
- Combine the condiment ingredients in a cup or small serving dish. Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if you'd like it saltier, or more chili for more heat. If too sour, add more sugar (this condiment should taste tangy and spicy, a balance between sour and sweet). Set aside for serving.
- Place prepared coriander, lime leaf, green onion, garlic, fish sauce and sherry into a mini food chopper or processor. Blitz well to form a fragrant green paste. (A pestle & mortar also works well for this.)
- Slice fillets into workable pieces (in Thailand they are often cut into 2-3 inch segments). Rinse fish and pat dry, then set in a dish with the spice paste. Slather the fish pieces with the paste until well covered.
- Keeping as much of the paste on fish as possible, transfer pieces to the flour bowl. Use a spoon to 'bury' the fish in the flour, then patting down gently. Two or three pieces can be set in the flour at a time.
- To Pan-Fry: Place 3 Tbsp. oil in a frying pan or wok and set over high heat. When oil starts to bubble, gently set floured fish in pan. Reduce heat to medium. Fry 1 to 1+1/2 minutes per side, then gently turn. Fish is done when both sides are golden-brown and fish has turned firm. Plate up and serve hot from the pan. Add more oil to the pan before frying the next batch.
- To Deep-fry: Add enough oil to a frying pan or wok in order to cover the fish pieces (at least 1 inch deep). Heat oil over high heat until a bread crumb fries easily when dropped in. Carefully set prepared fish in the oil and fry both sides until light golden-brown. Reduce heat as you fry to medium or slightly above. Drain on a clean towel or paper towel.
- Serve fish hot from the pan with rice and the condiment you made (great spooned over fish just before eating!). ENJOY!