Here is a Thai variation of our escabeche-style sweet and sour sauce. My wife purchased her first cookbook when we were assigned to Indonesia soon after we got married, Thai Cooking Class by Somi Anuntra Miller and Patricia Lake. A thin paperback book, it contains some classic Thai recipes and this wonderful fish recipe that we have cooked dozens and dozens of times in the past decade or more. My wife mastered this recipe and has taught all of our cooks since how to cook it. It is simple, relatively quick and absolutely delicious. First, pick a nice sized extremely fresh fish such as a 1 kilo grouper or jack (lapu-lapu or talakitok). You may also substitute a maya-maya or other similar fish. Clean and scale the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Either grill the fish over hot coals or fry it in vegetable oil. I prefer it fried as the grilling results in unevenly cooked flesh in many casesâ€¦
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Put a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat this up. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 shallots or 1 small red onion, 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, some pickled soybean or soy sauce. After 2-3 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric, some tamarind paste diluted in warm water, some white pepper and about 1 cup of chicken stock. Stir and blend well. Take off the heat and add some sliced green or red pepper, wansoy (coriander) and woodear mushrooms if you like them. Pour the sauce over the cooked fish and serve hot with lots of steamed rice. There should be a healthy balance between the sweetness, sourness and saltiness of the sauce. Delicious!