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Deep fried seabass with Isaan style salad
Deep fried seabass with Isaan style salad
Thai
Main
30 mins
Fish
Medium
Serves
2 to 4 as part of a shared Thai meal

This is a som saa classic. Crispy whole seabass with a salad of Isaan herbs, lemongrass and roasted rice powder.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 1 seabass about 400-500g in weight, gutted and scaled but fins and tail left on
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • pinch of white sugar
  • plain oil to deep fry (preferably in a deep fryer, but a wok or high sided frying pan works too)

For the salad:

  • 2 sticks of lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 4-5 thai red shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, washed and thinly sliced
  • a small handful of sawtooth coriander (also sometimes called Thai parsley), washed and thinly sliced
  • 3-4 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, cut into very fine strips
  • a small handful each of picked mint and coriander leaves
  • 2-3 dry chillies, fried briefly in a little oil until dark red an crisp
  • 1 generous tablespoon of roasted rice powder (*see below for method)

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of roasted chilli powder (**see below for method)
Method
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Method

Method

  1. Pre heat your deep fryer to 180 degrees C. Score the seabass with three to four angled cuts on each side. Then roll it in the light soy sauce and white sugar. Place the fish in the deep fry basket so it curls slightly (this is just for presentation) and then deep fry it for about 8-10 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the flesh gone a deep golden brown.
  2. While the fish is frying place all the salad ingredients, except the roasted rice powder and fried chillies, in a mixing bowl.
  3. Now make the dressing: mix together the lime juice and sugar until the sugar is all dissolved, now add the fish sauce, water and chilli powder. Taste and adjust: it should be hot, sour and slightly salty. Set aside.
  4. Once the fish is cooked carefully remove from the fryer and allow to drain and cool slightly on kitchen paper for a minute
  5. Now place the fish on a large plate or wide bowl and pour 1/3 of the dressing over it, add the remainder of the dressing to the salad in the mixing bowl an serve the salad and all the dressing over the top of the crispy fish.
  6. Garnish with the roasted rice powder and dried chillies.

* to make the roasted rice powder: dry toast raw sticky rice in a heavy pan over a low heat until golden brown in colour, allow to cool and then grind to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or clean spice / coffee grinder

** to make the roasted chilli powder: slowly dry roast hot dried chillies in a wok or frying over a medium-low heat until dark red and a little blacken in places (about 10-15 minutes) then grind into a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar or clean spice / coffee grinder


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