Pla Rad Prik
Pla Rad Prik is a Thai dish: whole-fried, meaty white fish with chili sauce, usually a centerpiece entree. It’s pretty common to find red snapper (delicious!) in Thai restaurants in the US; farmed or less over-fished alternatives like grouper, pompano, white perch, etc. probably work as well. Ideally, whatever fish is sized appropriately for your wok.
- For the sauce, food process or mince:
- 1/2 cup - garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup - small, red Thai chilies (de-seeded)
Also set aside:
- 1/2 cup - tamarind paste (prepared from a pulp block, if possible).
- 1/4 cup - palm sugar
- 2 tbsp - fish sauce
Reduce the amount of chili’s as desired.
- Dry fish and score cuts at 45-degree angle, 1.5 inches apart. Coat inside and out with tapioca starch.
- In a wok, heat up enough oil to submerge 2/3 of fish. Once the oil is heated to medium-high / high heat, hold the fish by its tail and gently slip it into the oil from the side of the wok. After the bubbles settle down, bathe the exposed sides of the fish with boiling oil. Don’t move the fish.
- Once the fish is crisped through on one side, gently flip it, trying not to break the fins or the skin. Once done, remove fish from the wok and set aside, as well as the oil.
- Add 1/2-cup used oil to wok and add chili sauce ingredients, first softening the garlic, and then the remaining ingredients. Boil for about a minute and then turn off the heat; add the fried fish, bathe with sauce, and serve.