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Red Emperor on Spicy Fragrant Sambal

Serves 4
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • For the Hot and Sour Sauce, place red chillies, white part of the lemongrass, shallots, garlic and 6 of the kaffir lime leaves into a blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. Reserve green stem of lemongrass. Add the rehydrated dried chillies and blitz to form a smooth paste. Set chilli paste aside until needed.
  • Place a wok over high heat and add the oil. Add bruised green stems from lemongrass, remaining kaffir lime leaves and the chilli paste and fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, Vietnamese mint, lime juice, caster sugar and 500ml of water.
  • Simmer until the tomatoes have broken down and liquid has reduced thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, keeping warm, until ready to serve.
  • For the Crispy Curry Leaves, heat the oil in a medium saucepan to 180C.
  • Once hot, carefully place the curry leaves in the oil, as the oil will splatter a little. Cook for 1 minute until crisp then remove with a slotted spoon. Set aside to drain on paper towel until ready to serve.
  • For the Herb Salad, place ingredients into a medium bowl and toss gently. Season with salt to taste and set aside in fridge until ready to serve.
  • For the Red Emperor, cut each fillet into 2 to yield 4 portions. Place the turmeric and salt into a small bowl and stir to combine. Rub the fillets with turmeric and salt mixture.
  • Place a large frypan onto a medium heat and add the oil. Place the fish into pan, skin side down. Fry for 3-4 minutes to allow skin to crisp, then flip the fillets over to cook on the other side until flesh is opaque and almost cooked through, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and allow the residual heat finish cooking the fish until ready to serve.
  • To serve, spread some Hot and Sour Sauce over the base of each plate. Top with a portion of Pan Fried Red Emperor. Garnish each plate with a few Fried Curry Leaves. Arrange a handful of the Herb Salad to the side of the fish on each plate

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