Total Calories: 627
1. Rinse the fish, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes, to the bone, on each side of each fish. Place the fish in a nonreactive baking dish or roasting pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Combine the fish sauce and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to blend, then pour the mixture over the fish. Turn the fish once or twice to coat, then sprinkle with the lemon slices and pepper. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
3. While the fish marinates, prepare the sauce. Combine the sugar, Tamarind Water, and fish sauce in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until thick and well flavored, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil to 350°F in a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and fry until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a wire skimmer, remove the shallots from the oil to paper towels to drain. Add the sliced garlic to the hot oil and fry until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes, then remove with the skimmer to paper towels. Add the sliced chiles to the hot oil and fry until crisp, another 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer with the skimmer to paper towels. Set the oil aside to cool.
5. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and half each of the fried shallots, garlic, and chiles, setting the remainder aside for garnish. Cover the sauce and set aside to keep warm.
6. When ready to cook, remove the fish from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Brush each fish on both sides with the reserved frying oil. If you’re worried about the fish sticking, use hinged fish grilling baskets otherwise, oil the grill grate and place each fish directly on it. Grill until the skin on the first side is dark and crisp and the flesh is cooked through to the bone on that side, 6 to 10 minutes. Turn each fish carefully with a long spatula and cook on the second side until the fish breaks into firm flakes when pressed with a finger, another 6 to 10 minutes.
7. Using the spatula, carefully transfer the fish to a platter. Bring them to the table and fillet, then spoon half the sauce over the fillets and sprinkle with the remaining fried shallots, garlic, and chiles. Serve immediately, accompanied by the remaining sauce.
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