It was such a long time that I have not cooked this dish for the family to enjoy. I just felt that it is time to make this dish to share with family and friends. I am so glad that I did as it turned out wonderfully. I can admit that this dish is a little fattening as the fish is being fried but I believe that once in awhile we should treat ourselves to some spicy tasty food.
3 large tilapia/snapper fillets, sliced into chunky strips
½ cup cornstarch for coating
½ cup all-purpose flour for coating
Salt and black pepper to taste
Canola/vegetable/corn oil for frying
Sprigs Basil leaves to your desire
In a mixing bowl with cornstarch, all purpose flour, salt and pepper, and combine well. Use kitchen paper towel and pat the tilapia/red snapper strips dry and then drench into the flour mixture and coat on both sides well. Dust off all the excess flours.
Meanwhile, heat a pot/deep fryer with canola/vegetable/corn oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. Once it is hot enough, gently drop each coated fillet strip into the hot oil without crowding the fryer and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towels. Continue frying in batches until all done. Also deep the sprigs of basil, drained. Set all the fillet strips and sprigs of basil aside.
2 tablespoons canola/vegetable/corn oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
6 pieces red Thai chili, stem removed, finely minced, if you like hotter, just add more
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1½ tablespoons lime juice
1/8 cup water
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and stem removed and sliced
1½ cups loosely pack basil leaves
1/3 cups finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Heat a sauté pan/wok with canola/vegetable/corn/olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, red Thai chilies and sauté until fragrant and lightly browned. Toss in the red bell pepper and onion slices and sauté a little further. Add in the fish sauce, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, lime juice, water, raw sugar and stir to combine well for about 1 minute.
Add the crispy fried fish strips and toss it well with the sauce. Add in the basil leaves and cilantro and a quick stir-fry. Check the seasoning. Once it is to your taste. Remove from the sauté pan/wok onto a serving dish and top it with the fried sprigs of basil. Serve it with steamed rice or just as it is immediately.