Crispy Whole Snapper

posted: 06/30/10
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Crispy Whole Snapper


For the fish:

  • Two 1 1/2 -pound/700-g whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled
  • One 1-inch/2.5-cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and sliced
  • One 1-inch/2.5-cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • Salt
  • All purpose flour, for dusting
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the green beans:

  • 12 ounces/340 g Chinese green beans, cut crosswise into 2-inch/5-cm pieces
  • 3 tablespoons/40 g palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup/55 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml Thai fish sauce
  • 3 Thai chilies, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the bias


To prepare the fish:

  1. Using a sharp knife, score fish on each side in a criss-cross manner to make diagonal slits. Gently rub the galangal, ginger and garlic over the fish and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Remove the fish from refrigerator and discard the galangal, ginger and garlic.
  2. Sprinkle the fish with salt then dust the fish with the flour. Pour enough oil into a large wok to come halfway up the sides, then heat the oil over medium to high heat.
  3. Slowly lower one of the fish into the hot oil and fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is just cooked through and crisp and golden. Carefully remove the fish from the oil and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining fish.

Meanwhile, to prepare the green beans:

  1. Cook the green beans in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are bright green and crisp-tender. Strain the beans from the boiling water and set them aside on a plate.
  2. Set a heavy-based large saut? pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar over the hot pan and cook until it is partially melted. Add the water, fish sauce and chilies to the melted sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the green beans to the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing often, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Toss the green bean mixture with the green onions.
  3. Transfer the green bean mixture to 2 large serving platters. Place one whole fried fish atop the green bean mixture on each platter and serve.
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