Crispy fish with Thai three-flavoured sauce

Crispy fish with Thai three-flavoured sauce

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  • 0:15 Prep
  • 0:10 Cook
  • 4 Servings
  • Capable cooks

Sweet, sour and tangy are the flavours in this dish and wow, do they pack a punch! This makes a great dinner with rice but you could also serve it as part of an asian banquet-style dinner.

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Quick meals, Asian recipes


  • 800g firm white fish fillets (such as barramundi, snapper or blue-eye trevalla), cut into 3cm pieces
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • Vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
  • 4 green shallots, white part thinly sliced, green parts cut into 3cm-long batons
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
  • Steamed rice, to serve (optional)

Three-flavoured sauce

  • 3 fresh long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Step 1
    For the three-flavoured sauce, place the chilli and garlic in a mortar and use a pestle to bruise until a very coarse paste forms (it should still be a little chunky). Set aside. Combine the tamarind, fish sauce, sugar and water in a separate bowl.
  • Step 2
    Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the chilli and garlic paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until softened slightly. Add the tamarind mixture and stir-fry for 1 minute or until aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Step 3
    Place a wire rack over a baking tray. Season the fish with salt. Place the flour on a plate. Toss the fish in the flour to coat. Pour enough oil to come 1cm up the side of a frying pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook fish, turning, in 2 batches, for 3 minutes or until golden and just cooked through. Transfer to prepared rack to drain.
  • Step 4
    Place the wok or frying pan with the sauce over high heat. Bring to a simmer. Add the fish and shallot. Gently toss to coat. Divide among bowls. Sprinkle with coriander. Serve with steamed rice, if using.


Tamarind paste is available in the Asian section of supermarkets or at Asian grocers.

Placing fried foods on a wire rack rather than kitchen paper helps the oil to drain while keeping the food crisp.

This recipe is also great with cubes of chicken or whole peeled prawns.

You can make the sauce ahead and reheat it before serving, but cook the fish at the last minute to keep it from going soggy.

  • Author: Marion Grasby
  • Image credit: Jeremy Simons
  • Publication: Taste Magazine



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