• One 2 pound red snapper, scaled and gutted, head and tail left on
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 table spoon vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced, lenghtwise
  • 1/4 cup peeled and shredded ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp soaked in a quarter cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons of cold water


Score the fish on both sides with 3 or 4 X's, each about 2 inches long and1/4 inch deep. Rub cavity of fish lightly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place fish into a steamer. If you are like me and do not own one of those, then the simplest thing to do is to fill up a large pot with 2 inches of water and place an overturned bowl. Put the fish on that bowl and when the water starts to boil, cover with a lid. That steams a fish just as well. You know the fish is done when it flakes if you poke it with a fork.

In another pot (A wok, if you have one. I dont.), heat oil. Add garlic, shallot, and ginger and stir fry for a minute, or till fragrant. Strain the tamarind, reserving the pulp and the juice. Add tamarind juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, fish sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Add 1/4 cup water to reserved tamarind pulp and restrain into a cup. Add the rest of the tamarind juice and scallions and bring to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Remove fish from steamer to a platter. Drizzle with sauce.

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Submitted 6/13/05.
Submitted By: Teresa Johnson
Red Snapper with Ginger and Tamarind Sauce