Whole fish fried with basil and chilli

    35 mins

    Nothing is more stunning at the dinner table than serving a whole fried fish with a fragrant unctuous sauce. Buy a lean, mild and flaky fish that is 300-400 g such as tilapia, fresh water trout or anything from the snapper family. Caution should be used when deep frying the fish, so make sure you have plenty of room and a big pot.


    Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), Thailand
    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 300-400g whole fish, gutted and scaled
    • Oil for deep frying
    • For the sauce
    • Oil for frying
    • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 5 big red chillies, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoon light soya sauce
    • One handful Thai basil leaves
    • One handful coriander, chopped

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. Rinse the fish and dry well. Make several angled slits along the body of the fish, cutting down to the rib bones. Make two lateral slits along the back of the fish, from head to tail, on either side of the dorsal fin. These cuts will ensure quick cooking and maximum crispiness.
    2. Slowly heat the deep frying oil in a large pot. Heat the oil to around 175 degrees Celsius. If you do not have a thermometer, then dip the head of the fish into the oil; if it sizzles, it is ready, if it does not sizzle, then wait a couple minutes and try again.
    3. When the oil is hot enough, slip the fish into the oil and fry for several minutes until it is crispy. Gently take the fish out of the oil and let it drain on paper towels.
    4. To make the sauce, fry the garlic, onion and chillies in a wok with oil. When the ingredients are lightly browned, add the fish sauce and soya sauce. Turn off the heat. Quickly mix in the basil and coriander.
    5. To serve, place the fish on a large platter and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

    Recently viewed

    Reviews and ratings
    Global ratings:

    Reviews in English (5)


    Exactly what I was looking for! I had whole fried tilapia in an Asian restaurant once and was sure that there was something trickier than just frying it; but no there isn't! I used canola to health up the frying and fried until super crispy 10-12 min. I was in a hurry so I didn't make paste but used Asian Rooster sauce and premade garlic-chili oil. The fish is sooo much more tender this way! THANK YOU!  -  11 May 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Much better grilled and just as "stunning at the dinner table". Fried.... Very Unhealthy. Sauce is tasty, tasty.  -  19 Mar 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    looks awesome i will definetely try it,it has an asian twist,and i love fish. thanks wiley  -  13 Mar 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)