Baked Snapper with Chilies, Ginger and Basil


Almost any whole fish can be cooked with this method, but snapper or sea bass are particularly good with the Thai flavors. If you can find it, try fresh galangal in place of the ginger, the flavor is unique.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
1 whole snapper


  • 1 (1 1/2 pound) whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • 2 red chile peppers, sliced diagonally

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and sliced

  • 5 leaves basil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.

  2. Stuff the cavity of the snapper with 1/2 cup basil leaves and set aside. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke. Place the snapper in the skillet, and quickly brown on both sides, about 1 minute total. Place the fish into the roasting pan, and sprinkle with fish sauce. Reserve the peanut oil in the skillet.

  3. Bake fish in preheated oven until the flesh flakes easily with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining peanut oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chile peppers, and yellow pepper and cook until the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar, rice vinegar, water, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat until thickened to desired consistency. Pour the sauce over the snapper, and garnish with the remaining basil leaves to serve.

Cook's Tip

Large chiles are less hot than smaller chiles, so choose those if you wish to lessen the heat of this dish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

277 Calories
9g Fat
11g Carbs
37g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 277
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 630mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 98mg 492%
Calcium 85mg 7%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 1025mg 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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