Nyonya spicy tamarind snapper

Nyonya spicy tamarind snapper

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

Snapper — the fish with a giant forehead — is one of the best fish to eat in Australia and is available all year round. I love cooking the snapper whole, because there’s just something beautiful about eating a whole fish from head to tail. Everyone seems to have their favourite part of the fish; I love gnawing on the deep-fried crispy tail while my friend Helen will go for the eyeballs! So it’s a win-win situation for everyone.


Quantity Ingredient
1 whole snapper
75g plain flour
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
125ml * rempah spice paste [rid:3561]
2 tablespoons tamarind purée mixed with 125 ml hot water
salt, to taste


  1. Clean the fish and pat dry thoroughly with paper towel. Make three deep cuts into the flesh of the fish on both sides. Rub salt all over the fish, and inside the cavity as well. Put the flour on a plate and dredge the fish in the flour until well coated, shaking off any excess.
  2. Pour the vegetable oil into a large wok until about half full, then heat the oil to 180°C over medium–high heat. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden chopstick into the hot oil — if the oil starts steadily bubbling around the chopstick, it’s ready. Gently lower the fish into the hot oil, head first, and deep-fry for 4–5 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the fish, until golden brown (see tip). Remove and place on a wire rack over a baking tray to drain.
  3. Tip the oil out of the wok, leaving only 3 tablespoons in the wok. Add the rempah spice paste and fry for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Pour in the tamarind water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Transfer the fish to a serving plate, then pour the spicy tamarind sauce over the fish. Serve with steamed rice.


  • When deep-frying large fish in a wok, first cook the fish on one side, then lift it out using a large deep-frying ladle. Carefully flip the fish over using kitchen tongs, then lower the ladle into the hot oil and carefully slip the fish back into the wok.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again