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Whole fried baby snapper with vegetable jungle curry - The Recipe

Posted: 02 April 2015 By Gingerboy

This dish is one of the Gingerboy signatures. It is fragrant and traditional. The sweetness of the snapper is perfect to balance the heat of this curry. Fresh, healthy and tasty - a beautiful meal to prepare at home.

Jungle curries originate from remote Thai villages where they were made mainly with wild boar. There are also many variations of vegetable jungle curries using ingredients such as pea eggplants, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts, as meat was sometimes scarce in northern Thailand. These curries are often very hot as they contain no coconut milk.

The Ingredients:

Baby snapper
3 baby snappers, 500 to 600 grams in size
1.5l vegetable oil

6 green bird’s eye chillies, seeded
3 long green chillies, seeded
5 red shallots
4 cloves garlic
2.5 cm (1 in) piece ginger
2.5 cm (1 in) piece galangal
3 coriander (cilantro) roots, washed
1 stalk lemongrass (white end only)
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons fresh green peppercorns
1 tablespoon Roasted Shrimp Paste
50 g (11 oz) shaved palm sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 cm (3 in) piece ginger, finely chopped
3 green bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
3 kaffir limes leaves, torn
400 ml water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 long green chilli, finely sliced
2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice

1 cup Thai basil leaves
1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into noodles
1 long red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced

The method:

Roughly chop the chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal and coriander roots.
Finely slice the lemongrass and shred the lime leaves. Using a mortar and pestle pound them all to a smooth paste with the remaining ingredients. Alternatively, pound to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle and finish with a food processor.

Heat peanut oil in a medium sized pot, add the curry paste and fry until fragrant (around 8 minutes), then add the lime leaves, vegetable stock and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the sliced long chilli. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and taste for a balance of flavours, adjusting if required.

Scale the snapper, and trim all of the fins and spikes off with a pair of scissors, then stick a bamboo skewer through the tail and then through behind the head.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently, ensuring not to bruise the herbs

To Serve:
Place a wok on the heat with the oil and bring up to 180°C and place the snapper in, it will take 7-8minutes and should be nice and golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel. Remove skewer from snapper and place on to your plate. Cover the snapper in curry sauce and place the salad near the tail end of the snapper.

Serves 6


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