Fried Lemongrass Fish with Crushed Cucumber Salad

I absolutely love fried fish and this particular recipe with lemongrass is fragrant, juicy and oh so delicious. The lemongrass imparts vibrant, refreshing citrus notes to the nutty flavors in the fish, and the rice flour makes the outside crispy and golden brown while the inside remains tender and juicy. Topping the fish with crushed cucumber salad makes this dish extra delicious and divine!

Ingredients for the fish:

1 medium size fish, cleaned and descaled
2 stalks fresh lemongrass (you can substitute 1 tablespoon dried lemongrass slices, or 2 teaspoons lemongrass powder)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Rice flour or Tapioca flour
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 scallions, finely chopped
Vegetable oil
1 lime or lemon
Black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the crushed cucumber salad:

6 small cucumbers
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
Red pepper flakes
2 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup of chopped cilantro

Instructions for the crushed cucumber salad:

  1. Cut the cucumbers into 1 inch rings and put contents in a zip lock bag.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, lime juice & fish sauce. Mix well and add this into the zip lock bag with the cucumbers.
  3. Using a mallet or a large knife, gently smash down on the cucumber pieces so they flatten out.

Instruction for the fried fish:

  1. Clean the fish and descale. Then, cut shallow diagonal slits vertically across the body on both sides.
  2. In a mortar and pestle or food processor, combine the following ingredients: lemongrass, garlic rice flour, onion powder, garlic powder, fish sauce. Once it is combined in paste- slather it all on both sides of the fish.
  3. Heat oil in wok or skillet over medium heat. Fry fish on both sides until crispy and golden brown (about 5 minutes per side).
  4. Serve fried fish with crushed cucumber salad placed on top.

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