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- 1 small trout, cleaned
- 1 dash sea salt, or kosher salt
- 2 limes, plus wedges for serving
- 1 cup vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the Sauce:
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 thumb-sized piece galangal, or ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 to 2 fresh red chiles, minced, deseeded for less heat
- 1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
- Gather the ingredients.
- Pat fish dry. Make 2 to 3 diagonal cuts on the side of the fish (with the blade of the knife on an angle facing the head). The cuts should be several inches apart.
- Squeeze the juice of 1 to 2 limes over and inside fish. Sprinkle surface with sea salt and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
- Place water, tamarind (or lime juice + soy sauce), garlic, sugar, galangal (or ginger), coriander, fish sauce, and chiles in a food processor. Process well (or chop and mix by hand).
- Pour the sauce into a saucepan. Add the diced pepper and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Taste the sauce for salt and sweet-sour balance, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more sugar if you find it too sour. Cover and keep warm while you cook the fish.
- Grill the fish on the barbecue over medium-high heat (375 F), or deep-fry it in a wok or large frying pan with 1 cup canola or other vegetable oil. Allow to grill or fry about 5 minutes on each side, or until the flesh has browned and flakes easily. Don’t flip the fish too early, or the skin will stick to the pan/barbecue. Allow it to cook at least 2 minutes before turning.
- To serve, plate the fish and pour the sauce over. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander and wedges of lime. Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice and enjoy with a cold lager or glass of white wine.
Fish Grilling Tips
- Make sure your grill is nice and clean before starting.
- Once the grill is hot, lightly oil the grates. Fold up a paper towel into a square and saturate it with oil. Use a pair of tongs to rub the oil on the hot grill grates.
- Don’t flip the fish until it’s completely cooked on the bottom side. This will help it separate from the grill.
- Use a large, flat metal spatula (or two) to flip the fish. If you’re not sure if it’s done, use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should be 65c.