Baked fish with sticky caramel sauce

Bill Granger roasts a whole fish with the hot, sweet and sour flavours of Thailand
By Bill Granger
Baked fish with sticky caramel sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tbsp light-flavoured oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 kg fish, such as snapper or sea bass, side fins trimmed
  • 1 lemon or lime, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 cm piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 100 ml lime juice

For the stir-fried vegetables

  • 1 tbsp light-flavoured oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 250 g Asian greens, (such as mange tout, green beans)
  • squeeze lime juice
  • dash soy sauce
  • dash fish sauce
  • pinch sugar

To serve

  • banana leaves, (optional)
  • small handful basil
  • small handful coriander, leaves
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • steamed rice

Tips and Suggestions

You can watch Bill prepare his sea bass here.


1. Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and brush a baking tray with oil.

2. Make three or four deep slashes on either side of the fish. Put a few slices of lemon or lime inside the body cavity and sprinkle the inside with salt. Drizzle the outside with oil then put the fish on the prepared tray and bake for 25 minutes. While the fish is baking, prepare the caramel sauce and stir-fried vegetables.

3. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until syrupy. Pour into a jug and set aside. Wipe the wok clean.

4. For the stir-fried vegetables: heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the greens and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes. Stir in a squeeze of lime juice, a dash of soy sauce, a dash of fish sauce and a pinch of sugar, adjusting the amounts as necessary.

5. To serve, line a serving platter with a banana leaf, if using. Put the fish on the platter, drizzle over the caramel sauce and finish with basil leaves, plus coriander and spring onions if preferred. Accompany with steamed rice and stir-fried greens.

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