Prep 25 mins
Cook 40 mins
Almost any whole fish can be cooked with this method, but snapper or sea bass are particularly good with the thai flavors.
- 1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaf (a handful)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs whole red snapper, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon finely grated galangal (or ginger)
- 2 large fresh red chilies, sliced diagonally
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water or 2 tablespoons fish stock
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and sliced in to thin wedges
- Reserve a few fresh basil leaves for a garnish and tuck the rest inside the body cavity of the fish.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide frying pan and fry the fish quickly to brown (turning once). Place the fish on a large piece of foil in a roasting pan and spoon over the fish sauce. Wrap the foil over loosely and bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees f for 25-30 minutes until just cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and fry the garlic, galangal (or ginger) and chilies for 30 seconds. Add the peppers and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes to soften.
- Stir in the sugar, rice vinegar, and water, then add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Remove the fish from the oven and transfer to a warmed serving plate. Add the fish juices to the pan, then spoon the sauce over the fish and sprinkle with reserved basil leaves.
- Serve immediately.
- Tip-- Large chilies are less hot than the tiny bird's eye chilies, so you can use them more freely in cooked dishes like this for a mild heat.