Red Snapper is one of the most prized native fish to the Texas Gulf Coast region. It can be prepared in just about anyway. It’s my preferred fish for frying, baking, or broiling. I purchase the whole fish, then use the head to make a stock. The stock is later used for sauces or soups. The skin of a pan seared Red Snapper is well known as having very much the taste of bacon. Since Red Snapper is is delicious baked, I decided to make my version of Pla Ped Pla with a Red Snapper that is first baked, then broiled. Note: This recipe calls for the use of krachai (a rhizome, similar to ginger, but sweeter and more aromatic). Krachai is critical to the development and taste of this dish. Ginger or galangal won’t quite get it. Try a local Thai supermarket or Asian market for krachai. If you don’t have a local market, check Thai Import Food. In this recipe is important to use a fresh fish otherwise the recipe comes off as an attempt to disguise a frozen fish with a great sauce.
3 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking
3 pieces krachai (minced)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger (minced)
1/2 cup onions chopped.
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp palm sugar (use blonde sugar if you cannot find palm sugar)
1 tablespoon extra virgin fish sauce
4 sprigs thai or holy basil or 1/2 cup sweet basil.
2 thai chilis, chopped into about 5–6 pieces per chili.
4 fresh leaves. The taste is unique. If you absolutely cannot find it try using 1 tsp lime zest.
2 vines young green peppercorns or 10 whole back peppercorns
1/4 coconut milk
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut 3 diagonal slits on each side of the fish, lightly, and run a thin layer of vegetable oil on both sides. Then place into middle or lower rack of the oven for 20 minutes.
For the Sauce: Heat oil on medium, then cook krachai, garlic, onions, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes. Add red curry and stir in, cook for 5 minutes for pre-packaged curry. Cook for 2 minutes for fresh curry. Add sugar, fish sauce and stir in. Let develop. Go by smell; you should smell the krachai. Maybe 3 minutes or so.
Lower heat, then add basil, chili, keffir lime, and. cook for 5 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, turn broiler on at 450. Move fish to top rack and broil for 5–6 minutes.
Add coconut milk and water, then and change burner to lowest heat for 5 minute — add more water if too dry. Remove fish from oven, then pour the sauce over fish and serve with steamed rice.