Thai Grilled Whole Fish With Coriander-Chili Sauce

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).
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients.
  2. Step 2

    Pat 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.
  3. Step 3

    Squeeze the juice of 1 to 2 limes over and inside fish. Sprinkle surface with sea salt and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
  4. Step 4

    Place 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).
  5. Step 5

    Pour 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.
  6. Step 6

    Grill 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.
  7. Step 7

    To 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.