Garlic, finely chopped
Large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
Red chilies, finely sliced
Palm or golden granulated sugar
Vietnamese fish sauce
Vegetable oil, for frying
Whole red snapper, each weighing 500-750 g, cleaned and scaled
Coriander leaves, chopped
Spring onion (scallion), sliced
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan
until moderately hot, add the garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and chilies and stir for
Add the sugar, fish sauce and water.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has amalgamated and
thickened. If it becomes too thick, you can add a little more water.
Heat about 1 cm of vegetable oil in a
large frying pan.
Put the snappers in the pan carefully, as
the oil may spit.
Cook over a moderate heat for about 15
minutes, without moving them. (If needs be, cut the heads off the fish
in order to get them both in the pan).
They should get brown and crispy
underneath. Turn the fish over carefully and cook for another 8-10
minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
Place the fish on a warmed serving dish.
Reheat the sauce and pout it over the
Garnish with coriander leaves and spring