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Crispy Red Snapper with Spicy Tomato Sauce - (Ca Chien)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves -- minced
1 medium tomato -- peeled, seeded, and diced
2 small red chiles -- minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 red snapper -- cleaned, 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 1/2 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). Drian the snapper on paper towels.


To serve, 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.


This recipe yields 2 servings.



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