Crisp fish with sambal and snake beans


  • Serves 4 people

  • 600 gm coconut oil
  • 750 gm barramundi (about a side), skin on
  • For dusting: cornflour
  • 2 bunches snake beans, cut into 6cm lengths
  • To serve: coriander sprigs, lime wedges, chunks of cucumber and steamed rice (optional)
  • Sambal
  • 20 gm shrimp paste
  • 50 gm freshly grated coconut
  • 7 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp roasted chilli flakes
  • 3 small golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 7 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 50 gm dark palm sugar
01   Heat coconut oil in a deep wok over medium-high heat until starting to smoke. Place cornflour in a bowl, season to taste, score skin of fish well and dust in flour, shaking off excess. Gently slide fish into oil (be careful, hot oil will bubble up; if necessary, turn heat off briefly until the bubbles subside). Cook until golden and crisp on the outside (15 minutes). Drain fish on paper towels and keep warm. Reserve oil.
02   For sambal, process ingredients except sugar in a small food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan with 100ml of the reserved oil and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until toasted and fragrant (5-7 minutes). Add palm sugar and stir until caramelised (3-5 minutes). Set aside.
03   Heat 1 tbsp reserved oil in a frying pan, add beans and stir occasionally over high heat until tender and golden (3-5 minutes).
04   Place fish on a platter, spoon sambal over and scatter with beans. Serve hot with steamed rice (optional), lime wedges, cucumber and coriander to the side.
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