Living along the Mekong region for several years, I've enjoyed a variety of fish and one of my favorites is the fried Red Snapper. Very crispy and with a mild balanced flavor, it never disappoints. It can be interchanged with Red Tilapia for similar results. Each country has its own delicious varieties of preparation. Often it's served with either chili sauce, tamarind sauce, or a soy sauce glaze. Below are the recipes for these tasty sauces to enjoy with fried red snapper. Read how to fry the fish for maximum crunch effect. Then choose a sauce to make from either Vietnam, Korea, or Thailand. For true Mekong style, serve the whole fried fish on a bed of lettuce. Spread the sauce over the top of the fish and enjoy alongside rice!
Fried Red Snapper
1 large or 2 small Red Snapper (or Tilapia)
oil for deep-frying
Prepare the fish before by cleaning it and drying it with a paper towel. Score fish along both sides. Lightly salt both sides and inside the scoring. Prepare flour on a plate or in a bag and bread the fish evenly on both sides.
Add the fish to heated oil (350F/175C). Fry for 6-8 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Avoid turning many times and try to turn only when one side is ready.
For a mix of salty and sweet, try the Vietnamese Soy Sauce Glaze
Vietnamese Soy Sauce Glaze (Nuoc Tuong)
2 tbs oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 knob ginger, finely chopped
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs oyster sauce
1/4 cup water
Cook garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant. Add sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce and continue stirring. Add water and cook for another 30 seconds.
In this video, the fish is breaded in a bag and fried as mentioned above (minus msg and pepper). Then at the end, the delicious soy sauce is made and added for a scrumptious presentation.
Korean sauce (Gajami Yang Nyeom)
1/4 cup of soy sauce
3 chopped green onions
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 green chili pepper
1 tbs hot pepper flakes
2 tsp sugar
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs sesame seeds
Simply combine and cover fish before serving!
Watch this video for a play-by-play on this delicious recipe. With a peppy fun personality, the Korean chef prepares this in a kitchen from Mexico. But she easily finds all the ingredients she needs for a recipe just like home.
Thai Tamarind sauce (Pla Rad Prik):
2 oz of tamarind
1/2 cup boiling water
3 pieces coriander and root
10 red chilies
1 whole bulb of garlic
1/4 cup palm sugar
6 tbs sugar
3 tbs fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs oil reserved from fish fry
Pour water over the tamarind and mix to separate seeds and skin from the paste. Strain and reserve the liquid. Combine coriander, chilis and garlic in a blender. In reserved oil from frying the fish, fry coriander/chili mixture until fragrant. Then add the 1/2 cup of tamarind juice. Add sugars, fish sauce, and salt to the skillet. Bring to a boil then reduce heat for 1 more minute. Serve on top of fish and garnish with coriander leaf.
This Thai chef shows us how to make the recipe. She deep-fries without flour —another option! Enjoy her professional straight-forward approach as this spicy tamarind sauce is prepared.
With these traditional tastes of the Southeast Asia region, we hope you'll successfully find a favorite! Whether you prefer salty, sweet, spicy, or in combination, this selection gives you a decent range for enjoying the Red Snapper. Let us know how it goes!
Food is a highlight of all of our tours. Planning for 2021 and beyond? Check out our tours in Vietnam, Thailand and Korea and taste the flavors first-hand.