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Broiled Snapper with Herbs

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Broiled Snapper with Herbs


1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind from a pliable block
1/2 cup cold water
2 small shallots
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons finely chopped cleaned fresh cilantro 
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce 
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2- six ounce red snapper fillets with skin
2 scallions
1 medium fresh red chilies (1 to 3" long) 
2 tablespoons fresh whole basil leaves or small fresh regular basil leaves


In a small bowl blend tamarind and water and let stand 10 minutes. With fingers rub tamarind to dissolve in water. Pour mixture through a sieve into a small heavy saucepan, pressing hard on solids, and discard solids. Slice shallots thinly and mince garlic. Add shallots, garlic, cilantro roots, fish sauce, sugar, and salt to tamarind water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Keep sauce warm, covered. Sauce may be made 1 hour ahead and reheated before serving.

Preheat broiler. Brush rack of a small broiler pan with oil and on it place snapper fillets, skin sides down. Add salt to season and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. While fish is broiling, slice scallions and chilies thinly and diagonally. Mix whole basil leaves into warm sauce just before serving. Move fish to a platter and pour tamarind sauce over it. Sprinkle scallions and chilies over fish and garnish with basil sprigs.

Serves 4. Each serving about 130 calories and 2 grams of fat.