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Recipe from: Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
This can be made with any fish. Personal choices would be catfish, sea bass or salmon. Thai preference would be to gut and clean the fish, but leave the head on. You may of course prefer to remove the head, even to use fish fillets.
A fish, about 1 pound
White wine (preferably rice wine)
Oil for deep frying
3 tablespoons of kratiem (garlic), finely slivered
¼ cup prik chi fa (Thai jalapenas), thinly sliced
¼ cup prik chi fa daeng (red jalapenas), thinly sliced
¼ cup hom daeng (shallots, or other onions), thinly sliced
¼ cup bai phak chi (coriander/cilantro leaves), chopped
¼ cup nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tablespoons palm sugar
¼ cup bai horapa (sweet basil leaves), chopped
Cut three or four slashes in the sides of the cleaned fish, and sprinkle with the rice wine. Dust liberally with the flour, and deep fry in hot oil until crispy.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, or second wok, add a little oil to the hot pan, and stir fry the chilis and onions until fragrant. Add the fish sauce, and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in the sugar and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved. add the coriander leaves, and stir occasionally until the sauce is slightly reduced (about 5 minutes).
Remove from the heat, and transfer to a sauce jug. Add the basil leaves when cool.
The fish, on a serving platter, and accompanied with a basket of khao niao (sticky rice), and the jug of sauce is presented to the diners, with the usual Thai table condiments (notably nam pla prik - chilis in fish sauce). Normally diners break off small pieces of the fish with chopsticks and transfer them to their plate, make the morsel into a ball with a little sticky rice and dip it into the sauce before transfering it to the mouth with the right hand... left handed diners and those feeling more comfortable could of course use a fork and spoon...