Thailand’s long coastline naturally means that fish have played a major role in its cuisine. Indeed, Thai cookery has made a supreme art of transforming the most common seafood and fish into glorious foods.
Here, fish is simply pan-fried in the wok until golden brown and crispy. It is then served in a zesty sauce that can be made hours ahead. I find this dish goes very well with rice.
Dry the fish well. Evenly salt and pepper each side of the fish. Dust the fish well with potato flour, cornflour or flour, shaking off any excess.
Make the dipping sauce by combining the chillies, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce in a small bowl.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, turn the heat down to moderate. Add the fish and slowly brown. Turn the fish over and cook and brown the other side. Remove the fish and drain on kitchen paper. Place the fish on a warm platter and serve at once with the dipping sauce.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.