This is one of my favorite dishes as it is simple and easy to prepare. You can make it spicy or mild to your taste. If you like it spicier, simply omit the gula Melaka. Even you can alter this dish to a meat curry dish. The taste of dish will be altered too. Try all of them.
1 12oz fish fillet (tilapia/red snapper/catfish), pat dry
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 small egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup breadcrumb/Japanese breadcrumb (Panko)
Salt and white pepper to taste
¼ each green bell pepper and red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons from scratched/store-ready Panang curry paste
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons gula Melaka
7 kaffir lime leaves, finely thinly shredded (optional)
½ cups coconut cream with 3 tablespoons water
½ cup canola/vegetable/corn oil
Fresh sweet basil leaves for garnish
Place all-purpose flour, salt and white pepper stir to combine, egg mixture and breadcrumb/Japanese breadcrumb (Panko) each in a flat dish. Dredge the dry fish fillet into the AP flour mixture, ten into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumb/Japanese breadcrumb (Panko) and pack it down well. Set aside in a parchment paper.
Meanwhile, heat frying pan with canola/vegetable/corn oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, gently drop the prepared fillet and deep-fry until the side is golden brown (about 3 minutes) on one side. Then turn over and deep-fry until golden. Remove and drain over a kitchen paper towel.
Pour all the heated oil into an oil can or a dish. If the frying pan has some breadcrumb residues simply clean it off with a kitchen paper towel. Then add two tablespoons of the heated oil into the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the Panang curry paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut cream mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the gula Melaka, fish sauce and shredded Kaffir leaves (optional).
Place the crispy fried fish fillet on a serving platter and pour the Panang sauce all over the fillet. Garnish with diced green and red bell pepper and with some basil leaves. Serve it with steamed rice.