Deep-fried sea bass with chili sauce

Striped bass meat is white and flaky, nearly like red snapper. Striped bass is tremendous to bake, grill or even stuff with greens.

Deep-fried sea bass with chili sauce
Deep-fried sea bass with chili sauce


4 (12-oz/350-g) sea bass (cleaned and trimmed)

1/3 cup (50 g) flour seasoned with salt and pepper

Canola oil, for deep-frying


2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 medium-hot red chile peppers (minced)

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons palm sugar (or light, raw brown sugar)

3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

1 tablespoon Tamarind Water


4 shallots (thinly sliced)

2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

1/3 cup (50 g) cashew nuts (halved)

2 leaves kaffir lime (finely shredded) (optional)

1/2 cup (25 g) basil leaves


1.  For the sauce, pound together the garlic and chiles in a mortar until they form a coarse paste. Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the garlic and chili paste, and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind water and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.

2.  Next, prepare the garnishes. Fill a pan large enough to accommodate the fish about one-third full with canola oil. Heat to 375°F (190°C). Add the sliced shallots, garlic, and cashew nuts, and fry for 2 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the shredded lime leaves and the basil leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.

3.  Rinse the fish and pat dry. Coat in the seasoned flour and deep-fry, one at a time, for 5 to 6 minutes, until crisp and golden. Lift out, drain briefly on paper towels, and keep warm while you cook the remaining fish.

4.  Put the fish on four warmed plates and spoon the sauce over them. Scatter with the garnishes and serve.

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