For the three-flavoured sauce, place the chilli and garlic in a mortar and use a pestle to bruise until a very coarse paste forms (it should still be a little chunky). Set aside. Combine the tamarind, fish sauce, sugar and water in a separate bowl.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the chilli and garlic paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until softened slightly. Add the tamarind mixture and stir-fry for 1 minute or until aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place a wire rack over a baking tray. Season the fish with salt. Place the flour on a plate. Toss the fish in the flour to coat. Pour enough oil to come 1cm up the side of a frying pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook fish, turning, in 2 batches, for 3 minutes or until golden and just cooked through. Transfer to prepared rack to drain.
Place the wok or frying pan with the sauce over high heat. Bring to a simmer. Add the fish and shallot. Gently toss to coat. Divide among bowls. Sprinkle with coriander. Serve with steamed rice, if using.
Keyword crispy fish with thai three flavoured sauce
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