Thai Whole Grilled Fish with Tangy Sweet Sauce

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

What You Need:

  • 2 medium-sized whole fish, cleaned (trout, snapper, red fish)
  • 4 Tbsp Thai fish sauce for marinade
  • 3 Tbsp sherry
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup coriander stems and leaves
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

How to Make It:

  1. Rinse the fish and pat it completely dry. Place fish on cutting surface and make 4 small diagonal slits on the fish (not cutting through, just the surface), then flip and make 4 more small slits on the fish.  This is done to allow the marinade to get into the fish.
  2. Put fish in glass baking dish and cover the fish with 2 tablespoons fish sauce, flip and cover the other side with remaining fish sauce.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. While fish is marinading, make sauce.  In a large saucepan, put the remaining ingredients (except cornstarch-water) and cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until smooth.
  4. Turn heat down to low.  Mix the cornstarch-water combination in a separate bowl, then whisk slowly into sauce.  Continue whisking over low heat until mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from heat.
  5. Taste and adjust for flavors as desired; cover saucepan to keep warm.

To grill fish:  Lightly oil your grill grates.  Heat your grill to high.  Place fish on grill.  Cook for at least 5 to 6 minutes – do not attempt to move the fish before that time as it will be stuck and the skin will stick to the grill.  You'll know when it's time to turn the fish because it will come loose with no effort.
Flip the fish using large spatulas or tongs, cooking on the second side for at least 5 to 6 minutes again.
Check to see if fish is flaking and white by inserting a fork and pushing some flesh aside.  Depending on the thickness of the fish you're grilling, your cooking time will vary.

To serve fish:  Remove fish to a serving platter or two plates, and pour the warm sauce over the top carefully.  Garnish the plates with a little more coriander, cucumber slices, and grape tomatoes.

Serves 2