Hot & Spicy Fried Snapper

10:00 pm on 1 January 2005

(Serves 2)


  • 1 small snapper (approx 500g), gutted and scaled
  • flour to coat
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp salted black beans, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp julienned ginger
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1-2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce or ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • fresh coriander to garnish


Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Make 2-3 slashes on either side of the fish with a sharp knife. Place the flour into a large dish or plastic bag and lightly coat the fish with flour. Shake off excess flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick wok or large frying pan until hot. Lower the fish carefully into the wok or pan and reduce the heat to medium. Fry until the underside is golden before carefully turning over. I find it easier to turn the fish with the help of a wide bladed spatula and some tongs tucked under the gills. Cook the other side until golden and check that the fish is cooked by inserting a knife into the flesh. It should be just coming away from the bones. Transfer the fish to a warm serving dish.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add the black beans, garlic and ginger. Toss these flavourings together, allowing them to sizzle until fragrant before adding the tomatoes and sweet chilli sauce. Simmer for about 2 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked through but still holding their shape. Add the soy (or fish) sauce, pepper and chives and combine. Pour the tomato mixture over the fish and garnish with the coriander.

Serve hot with rice and stir-fried vegetables.

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