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Ca Chien Don - Crispy skinned snapper with ginger and lime fish sauce


  • Nuoc mam gung - Ginger and lime fish sauce

  • Nuoc mam cham - Dipping Fish Sauce

  • Mo Hanh - Spring onion (scallion) oil


  • 1.

    Wash and dry the snapper thoroughly and place on a cutting board. Make three cuts along each side of the fish making sure not to cut right through to the bone.

  • 2.

    Mix the egg white with the potato starch to form a batter and set aside.

  • 3.

    In a large wok or deep-fryer, heat the oil to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds.

  • 4.

    Coat the snapper thoroughly with the batter. Wipe off any excess batter and carefully slide the snapper into the oil. Cook the fish for 5–7 minutes, or until done. Remember the skin should be crisp and the fish slightly underdone as it will continue to cook once removed from the oil.

  • 5.

    Place on a serving platter, cover with the shredded green papaya or mango spoon over nuoc mam gung and mo hanh.

  • Nuoc mam gung:

  • 1.

    Combine all of the ingredients together and mix well.

  • Nuoc mam cham:

  • 1.

    Combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir well and cook until just before boiling point is reached, then allow to cool.

  • 2.

    To serve, finely chop the garlic and chilli and stir through with the lime juice.

  • Mo hanh :

  • 1.

    Put the oil and the spring onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the spring onions until they just start to simmer in the oil, remove from the heat and allow to cool. The spring onion oil will keep for up to 1 week in a covered container in the fridge.


Sauces also in Secrets of The Red Lantern, Pauline Nguyen with recipes by Luke Nguyen and Mark Jensen.

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» Top Wine Matches For This Recipe

Andrew Graham

Riesling, Pinot Noir and Rose are the best wines to pair with Ca Chien Don - Crispy skinned snapper with ginger and lime fish sauce.


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