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Recipe from: Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking
1 tablespoon vegetable oil — I use peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
2 small red chiles, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons nước mắm (fish sauce)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1 red snapper, cleaned and scaled
In a medium skillet over high heat, heat the oil until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomato and chiles and cook for 1 minute. Add the sugar, fish sauce and water. Simmer, stirring occassionally, until the sauce is thickened (about 3 minutes). Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
In a large skillet heat about ½ inch of oil. Lay the snapper in carefully and cook over moderately high heat, without moving, until very brown and crusty (about 14 minutes). Turn the fish and cook the other side (about 10 minutes) Drain the snapper on paper towels. To server, put the fish on a platter, pour sauce over it, and using a large fork lift the meat with the skin from the bones. Turn the fish over and do the same. Serve with steamed rice.
I've made this dish with red snapper fillets, It's a heck of alot quicker and it's perfect for one.