So many amazing flavours in this one: sweet, spicy, sour, sticky – all the things! And I just love the glossy sauce over the salmon – it tastes so complex and yet it’s really simple to make.
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 long red chilli, roughly chopped
500g (1.1 lb) salmon fillets, cut into roughly 3cm cubes
½ cup plain flour (all-purpose flour)
vegetable oil for deep frying, plus 1 tbsp extra for stir-frying
¼ cup tamarind paste/concentrate
60g (2 oz) palm sugar, if using the firm blocks, shave it with a knife
1½ tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
3 spring onions (scallions), cut into batons
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, chillies and ½ teaspoon of salt to a rough paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for later.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot (325°F or 165°C) when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles.
Season the salmon with salt and coat in the flour. Then cook in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a clean wok or large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic chilli paste and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has turned translucent and shiny. Now add in the crispy salmon and the spring onion. Toss until well combined. Transfer to a plate and serve.