Thai Baked Fish in Garlic & Chili Sauce

"I'm actually posting this here so I can have this available wherever I go. I love this recipe! It's so easy...but great presentation for company. Looks and tastes like you spent hours preparing this. We always double the recipe because if we invite a couple (so 4 of us in all), we eat every bit of BOTH leftover for later. :( I found the base of this recipe on, but after tinkering, the final recipe is a bit different...better, I think. :) So some pointers: Basil & cilantro: do not mince or chop. Looks much better when garnish you actually eat. Approx. 2-3 lbs. of a white fish (or two smaller ones) For example, red snapper, rainbow trout or tilapia, fresh or frozen. (defrosted when you are ready to bake) The whole fish, including the head, make for great presentation. I serve this with sticky rice and the green mango salad I posted. If I have time, I'd make tom yum (soup)."
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Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Stir all marinade/sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Place fish on a cutting board and score it by making vertical cuts an inch or more apart along the length of fish from head to tail. Turn fish over and do the same on the other side.
  • Place fish on a large piece of tin foil or banana leaf. Make sure the foil or leaf is big enough to cover/wrap the fish.
  • Drizzle 3 tablespoons (or more) of the marinade/sauce over each fish, covering both sides. Be sure to spoon some into the cuts you've made, as well as into the cavity. Reserve the rest for later.
  • Stuff the cavity of the fish with lemon slices and some of the basil and cilantro. (approx. 1/4 to 1/2 cup).
  • Bring the long sides of the foil up and over the fish, scrunching it together. Try to keep the foil off the surface of the fish, making a kind of shallow tent over it. Also fold up each end and scrunch to secure. If using banana leaf: Simply fold the sides and ends of the leaf over fish to cover it. With banana leaf, you actually want the leaf to come into contact with the fish, as this adds to the flavor.
  • Bake the wrapped fish on a baking sheet or tray and place in the oven. (Fish wrapped in banana leaf will require a dish or tray, as banana leaf is permeable.).
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or longer, depending on the size and thickness of your fish.
  • Remove fish from oven and check some of the deeper cuts to see if inner flesh is cooked. If fish still needs more time, return to your oven for up to another 8-10 minutes, or until cooked.
  • To finish the fish, remove from oven and open up the foil, scrunching it around the fish to create a kind of bowl. For banana leaf, simply open up the leaf.
  • Pour remaining marinade over fish and return to the oven. Turn oven on "Broil" setting, and broil for approximately 5 minutes, or until the fish is nicely browned and crisp-looking. Banana leaves will become quite brown and fragrant. (keep an eye on it it during the broil to keep it from burning).
  • Remove from the oven and serve the fish with fresh coriander and basil. Add lemon wedges or slices. (or put fresh lemon slices on top & slices on the side).

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