Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce

Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce is a simple fried fish cooked until the extremities become crispy then served with a tamarind sauce.

Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce

In Southeast Asia with lots coastlines fried fish is commonly served on dining tables from simple as just fried to something served with different sauces like sweet and sour, egg and tomato, black bean and chillies to name some. I remember as a young child we eat fried fish at least once in a week sometimes its tilapia, sometimes its galunggong and something snapper, regardless of the fish type I love eating them specially the crispy bits on the edges where the fish is scored. It is even better when the scores go deep until the bones as the bones become crispy and can be eaten as well. This fish is then enjoyed with a dip made of soy sauce, calamansi and sometimes chillies and best consumed with freshly cooked rice bear handed and without utensils as there is no point using utensils when you eat the fish with the bones.

Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce Wide

Today we will be making something similar where we will be infusing it with s tangy sweet sauce from tamarind. Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce is a simple fried fish cooked until the extremities become crispy then served with a tamarind sauce. If you haven’t tried this think of a sweet and sour sauce but not very acidic but it is still sour with some fruity notes, there is also some spice and hotness from the chillies.

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Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce 2

Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Thai


Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce is a simple fried fish cooked until the extremities become crispy then served with a tamarind sauce.



Fried Fish

  • 1 big whole snapper, gutted scaled and scored
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • coriander, to garnish
  • red chillies, thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

Tamarind Sauce

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup tamarind pulp
  • 1/3 cup palm sugar or raw sugar
  • 3 coriander roots, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • fish sauce
  • oil


  1. Season fish with salt and freshly ground black pepper then sprinkle flour all over to coat fish.
  2. Prepare a wok with oil for deep frying, heat up oil and once it hits 180C deep fry fish for 5-6 minutes on each side until fish is cooked and golden brown in colour.
  3. Remove from wok, drain in paper towels then set it aside in a warm location.
  4. Using a large mortar and pestle pound the coriander, garlic and chilli together, set it aside.
  5. Soak tamarind pulp in 1 cup boiling water and once it turns soft remove the seeds if there are any. Set this aside.
  6. Drain the wok leaving enough oil to for sautéing. Add the spice paste together with the shallots and ginger, sauté until very fragrant.
  7. Pour the tamarind juice together with the sugar and fish sauce, simmer in very high heat for two minutes or until the sauce is reduced and is thick.
  8. Pour sauce on fried fish then garnish it with sliced chillies and coriander then serve.


Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce 2


11 Responses

  1. It looks delicious with all those amazing spices…

  2. GiGi Eats says:

    I am on board the fried-snapper bandwagonnn!

  3. cheri says:

    Looks amazing! love the tamarind sauce.

  4. Always love a whole fish presented at the table. So nice! And so good — the flavor of the bones really adds something. This looks great — thanks!

  5. suituapui says:

    This is stunningly gorgeous. I’m sure it tastes awesome. I so love Thai cuisine!!!

  6. Tracey Ashcroft says:

    How much fish sauce?

  7. Tracey Ashcroft says:

    Ok. Thanks for that. By the way, the recipe was delicious

  8. Cheryl says:

    Tried this with haddock fillets and store-bought tamarind sauce (subbed for the water, tamarind pulp, and sugar). Everything else made according to instructions and it was excellent! Hubs was impressed by the sauce. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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