Fried Whole Tilapia with Basil and Chilies

4.6
(8)

Nothing is more stunning at the dinner table than serving a whole fried fish with a fragrant unctuous sauce. Caution should be used when deep frying the fish; make sure you have plenty of room and a big pot. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
1 whole fish

Ingredients

  • 1 whole (10 ounce) fresh tilapia, cleaned and scaled

  • 1 quart oil for deep frying

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 5 large red chili peppers, sliced

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • ¼ cup Thai basil leaves

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat 1 quart oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). If you do not have a thermometer, then dip the head of the fish into the oil; if it sizzles, it is ready, if it does not sizzle, then wait a couple minutes and try again.

  2. Rinse the fish and dry well. Make several angled slits along the body of the fish, cutting down to the rib bones. Make two lateral slits along the back of the fish, from head to tail, on either side of the dorsal fin. These cuts will ensure quick cooking and maximum crispiness.

  3. Gently slip the fish into the oil and fry until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove the fish from the oil and let it drain on paper towels. Place on a large serving platter.

  4. While the fish drains, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Cook and stir the chili peppers, garlic, and onion in the hot oil until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the fish sauce and soy sauce into the mixture, remove from heat, and fold the Thai basil and cilantro into the mixture. Pour the sauce over the fish to serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

368 Calories
30g Fat
9g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 368
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 1033mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 86mg 431%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 568mg 12%

* 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.