Stefano Faita

Crispy Thai Fried Snapper

By In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita


Crispy Thai Fried Snapper
1 to 2 whole snapper, cleaned and scaled (each about 1 to 1 1/4 pound)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tsp. ground star anise (about 1 star anise)
Peanut oil or vegetable oil, for frying

Lemongrass-Lime Sauce
1 tbsp. peanut oil
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 tbsp. finely chopped coriander stems
1/2 stalk lemongrass, bruised with back of knife
1 Thai bird chile, minced or left whole
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 cup + 2 tbsp. chicken stock
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lime juice

Handful cilantro, mint and/or Thai basil leaves, for garnishing
1 lime, sliced, for garnishing
Fresh chiles, sliced, for garnishing
Green Mango Salad, for serving (optional)
Jasmine Rice with Herbs, for serving (optional)


Crispy Thai Fried Snapper
If the fish is too big for the pan, cut off the tail.

Cut 3 to 4 deep slits on both sides of the snapper. Season fish liberally with ground anise, salt and pepper. Dredge fish in cornstarch.

Pour enough oil to come about 1 1/2-inch up sides of a 12-inch to 14-inch skillet. Heat over medium high heat. When oil is hot, carefully add fish into the hot oil away from you. Fry snapper, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel to remove excess fat.

Lemongrass-Lime Sauce
Meanwhile, in small saucepan or fry pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander stems, lemongrass, and Thai bird chile. Fry for 1 minute. Add sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and 1 cup chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Combine 2 tsp. cornstarch with remaining 2 tbsp. of chicken stock. Stir into saucepan. Bring to a boil until sauce thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add lime juice. Remove lemongrass.

Add Crispy Thai Fried Snapper to platter. Pour Lemongrass-Lime Sauce over fish or serve on the side. Garnish platter with fresh herbs, lime slices and chiles. Serve Green Mango Salad and Jasmine Rice with Herbs.

Yield: 2 servings.