Pla Jian is an old recipe. The kind of dish a family would prepare as a special, something more elaborated than a simple fried fish. It's also a dish to enjoy with children because it doesn't involve any chili, the sauce is sweet and sour.
1 whole fish, scaled and gutted or 400 g fish fillets
2 tablespoons tempura flour
Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
Sweet and sour sauce
1 red spur chili, sliced
3 Thai celery stalks, cut in 3 cm lengths
2 cm ginger, cut in fine julienne
3 spring onions, cut in 3 cm lengths
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 coriander stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 tablespoons salted soy beans
3 tablespoons tamarind juice
Fry the fish, lightly coated with tempura flour, for about 5 minutes. Then drain on kitchen paper and reserve.
Combine all the ingredients of the sauce + the seasoning in a saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes with a lid. Taste to adjust the seasoning.
Pour the sauce over the fried fish and serve immediately.