Thai-Style Tilapia Baked Whole Fish in Garlic-Chili Sauce

If you have in no way cooked a whole tilapia fish, this Thai-style recipe is a remarkable one to try. It may be organized baked or grilled and makes an outstanding entree for serving guests, who will rave about the salty, savory, candy, and tangy sauce that hits every factor at the palate.


  • For the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 to 3 red chilies (sliced, or 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce, plus more to taste)
  • For the Fish
  • 1 to 2 whole red snapper (gray mullet, rainbow trout or tilapia, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoon oil (if grilling fish)
  • Garnish: lemon slices or wedges for serving

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this fish dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prep the Sauce and Fish

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F or heat grill to medium.
  3. Stir all sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. 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.

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