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Thai Stir Fried Red Snapper with Garlic and Pepper. An Easy Thai Fish Recipe!

Updated on March 30, 2009

20 minutes start to finish, this Thai stir fried snapper dish is quick and satisfying.

Thai's probably esteem red or white snapper above all other fish, and this very easy stir fried garlic and pepper recipe showcases snapper fillets beautifully. Because this dish is so easily prepared it's a great addition to a larger Thai style dinner, and would go very well with a stir fried vegetable and perhaps a spicy soup, such as a Tom Yam Kung.

Although many Thai dishes are very spicy, this authentic Thai dish does not call for any chili, and relies only on the pungency of black pepper for interest and heat.

Thai Sea Bass with Garlic and Pepper (Red Snapper)

  • ¾ lb (300 grams) of sea bass fillet (or other mild tasting white but meaty sea fish*)
  • ½ Tbls of coarsely smashed black peppercorns (A mortar and pestle works well here, or a pepper grinder that cracks coarsely. Try not to use fine black pepper powder for this dish).
  • 20 cloves of small Thai garlic smashed in a mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife. You don't have to worry about peeling the skins off of these tiny but very flavorful cloves of garlic. If you can’t find small purplish Thai garlic, just use regular garlic, about 3-5 cloves.
  • 3 Tbls of oil
  • 1 Tbls of oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbls of fish sauce
  • 1 Tbls of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • A pinch of MSG, if desired
  1. Rub the fish fillets with everything but the vegetable oil, garlic and pepper, and let the fish rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add in the oil.
  3. Toss in all the smashed garlic and fry just until fragrant but not browned (About 15 seconds)
  4. Add the fish fillets and the pepper to the pan and cook stirring gently, until cooked, about 3 or 4 minutes. This is sort of like a slow stir fry, you don't want to be moving the fish around constantly, just enough to ensure even and crispy cooking.
  5. Remove the fish from the pan and serve as a part of a larger a Thai style meal, with Jasmine rice. This dish is typically garnished with cilantro sprigs and slivers of cut Napa cabbage.

*If you don't have red snapper, you may substitute pretty much any sea bass or striped sea bass, mahi-mahi, halibut or even cod. You are looking for a lean, white ocean fish.


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      What a great recipe! I caught the 'Thai' in the title and that's all it took to hook me. I love Thai food and the quicker I learn how to cook Thai food, the happier I'll be. I've bookmarking this for easy accessibility. Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      9 years ago

      MSG is mono sodium glutamate

    • profile image

      K Attalia 

      9 years ago

      What is MSG ?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Super sounding dish. I feel hungry just reading it. Thank you for sharing.

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      YUM, this looks excellent. I really don't know how to cook fish as well as I'd like to...I will try this! Very well written, by the way.


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