Welcome to the Temple of Thai newsletter. You can also read this online here.
In the Thai Kitchen
Fried Fish with Tamarind Sauce
Radish Flower Carving
U and V Carving Tools
Deep-Fried Fish with Tamarind Sauce (Jean Plah)
This delicious Thai recipe can be made with ingredients on hand in the pantry and a frozen whole fish, yet it is good enough for a party or special dinner occasion, making it perfect for busy modern life.
5 shallots, grilled and crushed
3 cups (750ml) cooking oil
10 small cloves garlic
10 dried Anaheim chilies, cut into 2 inch strips
1 lb (500grams) Red Snapper, Tilapia or similar firm white flesh fish
Over high heat, quick fry shallots in a dry wok or skillet until peels are burned, about 15-20 seconds. This will bring out the shallots aroma. Remove charred peel and crush.
Crush the garlic and set aside. Put a 1/2 cup (125ml) of the oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and keep stirring until it turns slightly yellow or about 1 minute. Transfer the garlic to a plate lined with paper towels.
Add chiles to oil and deep fry over low heat for 30 seconds. Transfer to another plate lined with paper towels.
Add the rest of the oil and heat over high heat. Carefully add the fish and let it cook about 5 minutes on each side. Using a fork probe the fish meat, if the fork sticks with the meat the fish is not yet cooked. After the fish is cooked, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
Add the tamarind paste, palm sugar, fish sauce and water in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the peppercorns and stir to mix well. Taste and adjust to balance the saltiness, sourness and sweetness. Turn off the heat. Set the fish on a serving plate and pour the sauce over the fish. Top with garlic, shallots and chiles. Serve hot with steamed jasmine rice.
Recipe source: The Prem Organic Cooking Academy Recipe Booklet, by Su-Mei Yu, Chiang Mai, Thailand. See our site for more details about the school.
In South East Asian recipes, usually tamarind water is called for as it is easily blended into a dish. To prepare tamarind water, pinch off a piece from the block of tamarind paste, pour over water to cover in a bowl, and squeeze the pulp repeatedly. Strain the resultant liquid, discarding any fibers.