Whole fish fried with basil and chillies

    30 min

    This whole fish is fried and topped with a Thai basil and chilli sauce for a stunning main coarse at the dinner table.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 whole (280g) tilapia or white fish
    • oil for deep frying
    • Sauce
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or as desired
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 5 large red chilli peppers, sliced
    • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
    • 10g Thai basil leaves, or to taste
    • 10g chopped fresh coriander, or to taste

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Cut several angled slits along the body of the fish, cutting down to the rib bones. Cut 2 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. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to 175 degrees C.
    3. Gently place fish into the hot oil and fry until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Gently remove fish from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
    4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat; cook and stir onion, red chilli peppers and garlic until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add fish sauce and soy sauce and remove wok from heat. Quickly stir in fresh Thai basil and coriander.
    5. Place fish on a large serving platter and pour sauce over fish.


    To test the oil temperature if you do not have a thermometer, 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.

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    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)