Thai Grilled Whole Fish With Coriander-Chili Sauce
Traditional Thai fish can be made outdoors on the barbecue, or you can pan-fry the fish indoors (or grill it on a stovetop grill).
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1small trout (; cleaned)
- Dash sea salt or Kosher salt
- 2limes, plus wedges for serving
- Optional: 1 cup vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
- For the Sauce:
- ⅓cup water
- ½tablespoon tamarind paste
- 3cloves garlic
- 1heaping teaspoon brown sugar
- 1thumb-size piece galangal, or ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus more for garnish
- 2tablespoons fish sauce
- 1to 2 fresh red chiles, minced, deseeded if you prefer less heat
- ½red bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Pat fish dry. Make 2 to 3 diagonal cuts on the side of the fish (with the blade of the knife on an angle facing the head). The cuts should be several inches apart.
Step 3Squeeze the juice of 1 to 2 limes over and inside fish. Sprinkle surface with sea salt and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
Step 4Place water, tamarind (or lime juice + soy sauce), garlic, sugar, galangal (or ginger), coriander, fish sauce, and chiles in a food processor. Process well (or chop and mix by hand).
Step 5Pour the sauce into a saucepan. Add the diced pepper and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Taste the sauce for salt and sweet-sour balance, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more sugar if you find it too sour. Cover and keep warm while you cook the fish.
Step 6Grill the fish on the barbecue over medium-high heat (375 F), or deep-fry it in a wok or large frying pan with 1 cup canola or other vegetable oil. Allow to grill or fry about 5 minutes on each side, or until the flesh has browned and flakes easily. Don't flip the fish too early, or the skin will stick to the pan/barbecue. Allow it to cook at least 2 minutes before turning.
Step 7To serve, plate the fish and pour the sauce over. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander and wedges of lime. Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice and enjoy with a cold lager or glass of white wine.