fried red snapper with tamarind date sauce

by Heguiberto on January 6, 2012

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Last November when Devaki from the beautiful blog, Weave of a Thousand Flavors, came to San Francisco, we took her to one of our favorite restaurants in town, the Slated Door. That visit, we tried a dish that I had not had before: deep fried whole branzino served on a bed of a thick sweet-and-sour sauce. Thanks Chef Charles Phan! This fish was ultra fresh, fried to perfection, crisp on the outside with a yummy flesh inside. Mmmm!!! We (me) actually ate everything, bones and cheeks included, and wiped the sauce off the plate with our fingers. Delish!

fried red snapper with tamarind date sauce

fried red snapper with tamarind date sauce

my tamarind date sauce on the side

my tamarind date sauce on the side

So this is my attempt to reproduce the dish at home. The branzino at Sun Fat was farm raised in Greece, so instead I bought wild caught red snapper from the Pacific. Much better.

The sauce from the restaurant, as I recall, was a simple combination of tamarind concentrate and spices. I think that my version’s close. I used a mix of tamarind concentrate and a tamarind-date chutney I found at a local Indian market. The list of chutney ingredients includes tamarind concentrate, dates, salt, sugar, chili and black peppers. Just the thought of it makes my mouth pucker happily lol

We served this for New Year’s Eve with fragrant herbed basmati polow.

tamarind  concentrate and tamarind date chutney

tamarind concentrate and tamarind date chutney

fried red snapper with tamarind date sauce

2 red snappers weighing about 2½ lbs each, cleaned
rice flour for dusting
Kosher salt
black pepper
oil for frying
slices of cucumber
lime wedges

for tamarind date sauce:

4 tbsp tamarind paste
3 tbsp tamarind date chutney

Rinse and dry fish, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dust in rice flour and fry it in hot oil for about 8 minutes on each side or until crisp. Remove from pan to a dish covered with paper towels to drain any excess oil. I served the tamarind date sauce on the side after I got worried that the guests might not like it. My original idea was to drizzle the fish with the sauce. Silly me because we all loved it! This was another great tasting and satisfying meal.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista January 6, 2012 at 1:38 am

I love red snapper SO much, and this looks fantastic with that lusciously crispy skin. :-) You’re right, that sauce sounds amazing and my tongue is tingling anticipating all those delectably intense flavors. :-)

Lili January 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

You guys are amazing with all of these recipes!

Devaki @ weavethousandflavors January 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

We had such a wonderful wonderful time and The Slanted Door is absolutely on my must-go list of restaurants in San Fran. Of course the aside, the company makes all the difference in the world!

This is such a beautiful dish and tamarind date chutney is stellar!

hugs! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

PS – Thanks so much for the shout-out!

Magic of Spice January 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I would so love to hang out with you guys and Devaki…I love her!
This is a stunning dish, and that sauce must be incredible!

raquel January 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

red snapper in my place are easy to find and would love to try this too… I think this recipe is also good in tilapia =)

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