Deep-Fried Pomfret with Spicy Sauce

(Photo by sidkhullar/Flickr)


2 whole pomfret, cleaned
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
oil for deep frying


2 tablespoons chopped fresh red chillies
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons sliced purple shallots
2 teaspoons shrimp paste
2 teaspoons fish sauce


Clean fish, score flesh and coat with flour mixed with salt and pepper. Dust off excess flour. Have sauce ingredients pounded to a paste (or blended in an electric blender) before starting to fry fish. Heat oil for deep frying and fry the fish until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons oil and fry the sauce ingredients, stirring constantly, until fragrant and oily, about 4-5 minutes. Spoon over the fried fish and serve at once, with steamed rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)