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Lunchbreak: Fried fish collars with Thai garlic chili sauce, prepared by Proxi chef Andrew Zimmerman

Chef Andrew Zimmerman

Proxi
565 W. Randolph St.
Chicago
(312) 466-1950
www.proxichicago.com

Fried Fish Collars with Thai Garlic-Chili Sauce
Serves four

Ingredients:
8 pc fish collars, about 6 oz each, cleaned by your fishmonger
or 2 whole fish (red snapper for example) about 1.5-2 lbs each, cleaned by your fish monger or and fish fillets that you like (one per person about 5-6oz each)
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 Tbs tempura flour
1-2 Tbs salt
2 limes, cut into wedges
12-16 sprigs of cilantro
8 cups vegetable oil (or enough to fill a Dutch oven or wide pot to a depth of about 6 inches)

Sauce:
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 Tbs minced shallots
1.5 Tbs sambal oelek (a chili paste)
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup tamarind water (made from 4oz seedless tamarind and 3 cups water…warmed up…mashed and then strained)

Directions:
Pre-heat an oven to 200 F. Pre-heat the oil in a wide pot or dutch oven to 350 F. Have a sheet pan lined with paper towels topped with a rack handy. To make the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan. Add the shallots, cilantro and garlic. Cook for about two minutes until the shallots are softened. Add the samabal, fish sauce, sugar and tamarind water. Cook about three minutes more. Remove from heat and keep warm. For the fish collars, lightly season the collars with salt and them combine the rice and tempura flours. Completely coat the collars in the flour mix and add them in batches to the hot oil. Fry about 4-5 minutes or until lightly golden brown and hot all the way through. As the collars are finished remove them from the oil and put them on the rack over the paper towels to drain. Keep warm in the oven as you cook the remaining collars.

To serve:
Put some of the sauce down on four plates. Top the sauce with the fish collars. And then some cilantro sprigs and the lime pieces. Serve.