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Whole fish fried with basil and chillies recipe

Whole fish fried with basil and chillies recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • White fish

This whole fish is fried and topped with a Thai basil and chilli sauce for a stunning main coarse at the dinner table.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 whole (280g) tilapia or white fish
  • oil for deep frying
  • Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or as desired
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 large red chilli peppers, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 10g Thai basil leaves, or to taste
  • 10g chopped fresh coriander, or to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Cut several angled slits along the body of the fish, cutting down to the rib bones. Cut 2 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.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to 175 degrees C.
  3. Gently place fish into the hot oil and fry until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Gently remove fish from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat; cook and stir onion, red chilli peppers and garlic until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add fish sauce and soy sauce and remove wok from heat. Quickly stir in fresh Thai basil and coriander.
  5. Place fish on a large serving platter and pour sauce over fish.


To test the oil temperature if you do not have a thermometer, 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.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(7)

Reviews in English (5)


Exactly what I was looking for! I had whole fried tilapia in an Asian restaurant once and was sure that there was something trickier than just frying it; but no there isn't! I used canola to health up the frying and fried until super crispy 10-12 min. I was in a hurry so I didn't make paste but used Asian Rooster sauce and premade garlic-chili oil. The fish is sooo much more tender this way! THANK YOU!-11 May 2010

Indian Baked Whole Fish Recipe / Baked Masala Fish Recipe

This is the recipe which i was talking in my continental baked fish recipe. Hubby loved this one more than that, but my favourite was the lemon baked fish.

Add in coriander leaves and mint leaves. Mix well. Masala done..

Now line a foil, spoon some masala in the bottom. Lay the fish in, spoon some masala into the fish and over the fish. Lay tomato slices over this. Cover and bake this for 30 to 35 mins.

About Aarthi

Over the past few years I’ve been on a mission to find and create recipes that I can make from scratch. I hope you enjoy the recipes on this blog as they are tried and true from my kitchen to yours!

Ingredients you will need


We usually make minced chicken thigh/breast meats. But you can try it with minced beef, pork, duck, shrimps, or mixed seafood. If you are a vegetarian, try with small diced tofu or egg tofu.

Basil Leaves

Basil Leaves are the main core ingredient for this particular dish. It has an exotic taste and aromatic fragrance and abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals contents. These greens bring benefits for health that even some people add in their detox waters. If you cannot get Thai basil easily, you can use holy, sweet, or Italian basil. The flavour won’t be exactly same as Thai basil but they can bring the nearest basil aroma to the dish.

Stir Fry Sauce

To achieve the perfect sweet, salty, savoury sauce, you will need to mix light soy, oyster sauce, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and brown sugar.

These sauces are essential for most Asian stir fry dishes. So, it’s worth keeping them in stock inside your kitchen cupboard so that you can make other kinds of Asian dishes as well.
If you are not a fish sauce fan, you can just use soy sauce or salt to taste.

How to serve this dish

You can simply enjoy this dish with hot steamed white rice. Jasmine rice is suitable to use here because its taste and fragrance can give you a better Thai restaurant vibe. Or you can eat together with Pad Thai or Tom Yum Soup & Noodles, accompanied by side dishes and starters like Satay Skewers, fried wontons, or Thai Wings. Now, You can enjoy the perfect Thai banquet!
Soft drinks and fresh fruit juices can be a good idea for beverage choices! Pure coconut water is my favourite!


Prepare the ingredients as indicated. Leave the fresh basil leaves whole the flowers may also be used. The dried holy basil will soften when soaked in tap water for 10-15 minutes. Pull off and discard the hard stems. Drain.

Heat a wok until the surface is smoking hot. Swirl in the oil to coat the wok surface. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat, then stir in the garlic, followed a few seconds later with shallots. Stir another few seconds before adding the chicken. Stir-fry a minute or two, or until most of the chicken has started to change color on the outside and is no longer pink.

Toss in the chillies, slivered kaffir lime leaves and reconstituted dried holy basil (if using). Sprinkle black soy sauce over the mixture and stir-fry another 15-20 seconds. Then add fresh basil leaves and fish sauce to taste. Stir and mix well. Stir-fry another half a minute, or until the basil is wilted and the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with white pepper. Stir and transfer to a serving dish, or spoon directly over individual plates of plain steamed rice.

This is a good and easy stir-fried dish and one of the favorites among Thai people. It is served over rice as a one-dish meal, for breakfast or for lunch, often topped with a crispy fried egg. Of course, it also appears frequently as one of the courses in a shared family-style meal.

If you are not able to find fresh holy basil, this recipe can be substituted with any fresh basil. I have also tried it with a mixture of fresh Thai sweet basil (bai horapa) and fresh mint leaves with good results.

The smaller the chicken is cut, the greater the surface area to coat with the flavors of the aromatic herbs and sauces, and the more flavorful the stir-fry will be. Some of my students have reported good results using ground turkey. In Thailand, this dish is often made with chopped pork, or bird meat, especially in fast-food, curry-rice shops (rahn kao gkaeng), where an enormous variety of dishes are prepared ahead of time and served over steaming white rice to order.

When I travel in the rural areas, I often stop at such rice shops in small towns for lunch. Some of the best pad gka-prow can be had at these inconspicuous, no-frills, open-air places. They are made particularly spicy to help preserve the meat, as the dishes are prepared early in the morning and served throughout the day until they are sold out.

Try the above recipe also with fresh seafood (in this case, no need to chop) - shrimps, scallops, mussels, clams, crab and firm-flesh fish, such as fresh halibut and salmon.

  • Also see Stir Fry Chicken Pad Kee Mao
  • For more information on the different types of Thai basil see our about Thai ingredients page.
  • Visit our store for Thai cooking ingredients

Recipe Copyright © 1995 Kasma Loha-unchit, Thai cooking instructor, cookbook author.

Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings

In a large bowl, place the chicken wings with all the marinade ingredients. Mix until well combined. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

To make the sweet & salty sauce, place the ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar has just dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Fill a wok or saucepan to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot enough when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms little bubbles. You don’t want to heat the oil too much because the chicken needs time to cook without burning.

Meanwhile, mix the corn flour and the baking powder in a large bowl. Coat each chicken wing in the corn flour mixture, being sure to tap off any excess. Cook the chicken (do this in batches) for about 15 minutes or until golden. Drain on a wire baking rack.

Wait a couple of minutes for the oil to heat up again. This time you want the oil very hot (you should have furious bubbles when you test with the wooden spoon). Add the chicken wings back into the oil and cook for another 2 minutes or until super crispy and deeply golden. Drain on paper towel.

Just before serving, toss the chicken in the sweet & salty sauce, along with the fried garlic and coriander. Serve immediately.

Padma's Recipes

Recipe from my friend Prema.

Basmati - 2 cups
One large bunch of fresh basil leaves
1 shallot pod or 5 garlic pods
Green onions - 1 small bunch
Vegetables to your taste and need( can use beans, carrot, colored bell peppers, cabbage - all thinly sliced - add around more than a cup)
All purpose marinade - 3 tbsp
Soy Sauce - 5 tblsp
Aginomoto - 1/2 tsp(optional)
Chillie garlic sauce - 2 tbsp
Ching's Schezwan sauce mix one pack
Onion - 1/2 chopped
Jaggery marble size(Optional)
Salt to taste
Oil ( can use sesame oil)

Wash and soak rice for 30 mts.

Cook the soaked rice in such a way that you get single separate grains. Let it cool and add 2 tblsp to 3 tblsp soy sauce and you can set this aside ahead itself. In a wok add 4 tblsp oil of your choice. Put in the veggies of your choice along with shallots/garlic and onions and the bottom part of the green onions. Saute it for few minutes with 1tsp ajinomoto. Then add one ingredient after the other slowly. Like add the schezwan sauce mix and then all purpose marinade and then chillie garlic sauce and the remaining soy sauce, jaggery and salt and let it get cooked for about 10 minutes in low flame. Need not add water since we already have the sauces. Add the Basil leaves and the green onions and remove from flame and add this to the rice mix well and the food is ready to be served.
Adding basil leaves gives a very good flavor and taste to the rice.
You can make your own schezwan sauce by making a paste with red chillies, vinegar, little salt and few garlic pods.


For The Fish

  • 500grams whole fish cleaned, scaled, gutted and gilled
  • Plain flour to coat fish
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

For The Tamarind Sauce

  • 2 tbs chopped garlic
  • 2 tbs red chillies, chopped
  • 2 golden or red shallots, sliced
  • 1 tbs galangal, finely chopped (fresh or pickled)
  • 1 tbs coriander root, finely chopped
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 4 tbs fish sauce
  • 5 tbs palm sugar
  • 1 cup tamarind water (below)
  • Coriander or Thai sweet basil to garnish

For The Tamarind Water

Phad Ga Prao / Stir fry with basil leaves ผัดกะเพรา

What does a Thai person order when in doubt? Exactly, Phad Ga Prao. Often with minced pork, but as well with a myriad of other proteins like chicken, fish and shrimp.

It’s a really easy dish to prepare and really difficult to ruin.
You can find this dish in many different spellings on the English version of the menus in Thailand, like Pad Ka Prao, Phad Kra Pao and many more but the one most closely resembling the Thai pronunciation is probably the Pad Ga Prao.

Holy Basil

The main ingredient, holy basil or “Bai Ga Prao” is sometimes not easy to find in Western countries. However, due to it’s medicinal properties it gets more and more widely available. It’s possible to replace it with Thai sweet basil / purple basil but it’s just not the real thing. The flower is in appearance closer to the European basil than sweet basil and the most distinctive feature are the jagged edges of the leaves. It is home to tropical Asia and has been grown here for more than 3,000 years.

The recipe shown is the most popular version of this dish: Phad Ga Prao Moo with “moo” meaning pork in Thai.


  • 300 grams Chicken , cut into small pieces
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1/4 cup Corn flour
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste
  • 5 sprig Basil leaves
  • 2 Fresh Red chillies , chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic , chopped
  • 1 Green bell peppers , sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Oil For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Red Chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Corn flour
  • 1 cup Water

Steps to Make It

To clean the peppers, put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves. If you don't want to wear gloves, just be careful not to touch your eyes after handling the chilies.

Make a single cut from just below the stem down to the tip of each chili (be careful not to slice through to the other side). Try to leave the stem on, as this will make the chilies easier to handle, and also the stems are quite decorative.

Gently open up the chili (you may have to tear the top a little to open it). Using a teaspoon, remove the seeds plus the inner lighter-colored rind, leaving the chili empty. Run the chili under cold water this will wash away any seeds that are left. Set cleaned-out chilies aside.

Place shrimp or chicken, fish sauce, peanuts, galangal (or ginger), garlic, spring onion bulbs (reserve green stems for later), egg, coriander, and black pepper together in a food processor or chopper. Process well.

Using a teaspoon, stuff this mixture into the peppers. Don't over-stuff. The peppers should nearly be able to close.

To keep the peppers from coming open, use the spring onion stems reserved from earlier. Wrap a stem around the middle of each pepper and very gently tie it (if you pull too hard, the stem will break). You don't need to knot the stem - just tighten it and then cut off the excess (if it's too long).

To make the batter, simply mix 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup water plus 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir until the batter is more or less smooth. Use a whisk if you have one.

Heat oil in a small frying pan, or in the bottom of your wok the oil should be at least 1 inch deep. When the oil begins to "snake" (move) across the bottom of the pan, it should be hot enough. If you're not sure, dip an end of one of the peppers into it. If the oil sizzles around it, it's ready.

Working quickly, dip the stuffed peppers one at a time into the batter and then carefully place them in the hot oil. Allow to cook for at least 3 minutes on each side, or until peppers are golden-brown (they may also start to resemble roasted peppers).

When done, remove and allow to drain on an absorbent towel or paper towel.