Grilled Whole Fish with Tamarind

Nuvita Biscuits

This recipe, for a whole fish basted in a tart tamarind sauce, calls for a grilling basket, which allows you to turn the fish without damaging.


  • 1  2–3-lb. whole fish, such as red snapper, porgy, or striped bass, cleaned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green Thai chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1  2″ piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1⁄4 cup tamarind paste or 2 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
  • 1⁄2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Canola oil, for brushing


  1. Put fish into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and cut three evenly spaced 1⁄4″-deep crosswise slits into each side of the fish. Season fish cavity and skin with salt and pepper. Combine garlic, chiles, ginger, and lime juice in a small bowl and rub cavity and skin of fish with the garlic mixture. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk, tamarind, curry powder, coriander, and cayenne in a 2-qt. saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring often, until tamarind is dissolved (about 15 minutes for the paste or 1 minute for the concentrate). Remove pan from the  heat and set aside. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, arrange a rack 4″ from broiler element and set oven to broil.) Brush the inside grates of grilling basket with oil. Uncover fish, transfer it to grilling basket, and brush with some of the tamarind sauce. Cook fish, flipping every few minutes and basting often with tamarind sauce, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer fish to a serving platter; serve hot or at room temperature.


Recipe Comments

  1. posted by stephen m on Mar 16, 2013

    i would like to have the comments from the different peoples of the world about the food which has been used by pakistaniesinto their daily food and what they think that whether it is good or not because i may expect that there should be some experts are also there that will help us to improve our food and improve the quality of our food department

  2. posted by Ryan Dunn on Mar 18, 2013

    My soon to be mother-in-law was ranting on about how much she loved a sea bass dish she had in a casino restaurant and wanted to serve sea bass with our Thanksgiving dinner. So, she went out and bought $100 worth of sea bass fillets (about 10 pounds total!) and now she doesn’t know what to do with them because she doesn’t really know how the restaurant cooked them. So she’s leaving it up to me and my girlfriend to come up with something for 30 people to enjoy. Anyone have any great tasting sea bass (or fish) recipes?

  3. posted by kiltakblog on Mar 25, 2013

    I’m 15 yrs old, been on junior cookery courses and ganined many fans (from what people say) and award whilst i’ve been cooking for only 3 years. I really want to become a successful chef as a career. so i just wanted to run some meal ideas past you that i have brain stormed and will probably cook and serve to family and friends. I am very inspired by many celebrity chefs and good cooks around me, i.e. my dad lol.(note. all ideas are my work and no one elses, i am only INFLUENCED by certain ideas and recipes.

    so here goes:
    Starters- Idea number 1: oven baked duck breast with grilled leak in a orange, ginger and mustard sauce.
    idea number 2: Lighty curried parsnip, fennel and spinich soup with fresh soda bread.
    idea number 3: trout wrappedin filo pastry with peppers, celeriac and curly kale.

    Mains: idea number 1: oven baked loin of pork wrapped with pancetta, served with braised red cabage,
    honey roasted peaches and a rocket and basil pesto.
    idea number 2: Tandoori rack of lamb, with sweet potato and mixed vegetable mash, candied
    fennel, ruburb and chilli jelly with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce.
    idea number 3: Fillet of sea bass with cauliflour puree and sauteed green vegetables.
    idea number 4: walnut and riccotta parpadelle.

    Desserts: idea number 1: marscapone and vanilla ice cream with blood orange on a hazlenut and almond
    biscuit topped with a blackberry coullis.
    idea number 2: rubarb and pear souffle with white chocolate and cherry icecream.
    Idea number 3: saffron poacked mandarain with kirsh soaked prunes and clotted cream.

    I have brainstormed these idea and need to know which one of eah of these courses you’d happily eat and why. any improvements or tips will also be greatly appreiciated. thanks for reading this :)

  4. posted by Jeracoo L on Mar 25, 2013

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Thai food. Its just that there are either cashews or some form of nut sauce used in most dishes. Yesterday while at lunch I was asked if the Thai people were big peanut farmers, which I do not know. Could this be a reason. I know most people are afraid when you say Thai because they are expecting to have their faces melted off by spice, but I honestly don’t think its too bad.
    Long live Thai Kitchen in Bridgewater, NJ. and Chao Phaya in Somerset, NJ. Both have amazing food.

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