More tastes of tailor
  |  First Published: August 2005

As promised in last month’s Cooking Corner, here is another delicious recipe using tailor with a definite Thai influence.

Thai Tailor Bake

This great tasting recipe is easy to make and has just a dash of chili heat added to counteract the cold weather. If you’re on the road and you don’t have access to an oven, just cook each tailor fillet with the required amount of ingredients in a double sealed foil parcel. So good! If you are going to cook the tailor in foil there is no need to brown the fish first.

You can buy Kaffir lime leaves in the produce section of most supermarkets and in some fruit shops.


4 tailor fillets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion or 3 shallots, whichever you prefer

3 stems lemon grass, white part only

3 Kaffir lime leaves

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 small red chili, seeded and finely shredded

200mL white wine

300mL coconut cream

3 teaspoons Thai fish sauce

1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped


• If you are using your oven, preheat to 180C/350F.

• Heat the olive oil in a heavy based fry pan and brown the tailor fillets on both sides.

• Carefully transfer the fish to a shallow baking dish. Chop the onion very finely (if you’re using shallots cut them into very thin slices). Finely shred the white part of the lemon grass. Add the onion and the lemon grass to the fry pan in which you cooked the fish. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the onion/shallot softens and the lemon grass becomes aromatic.

• To the onion and lemon grass, add the lime leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and the chili. Stir for a couple of minutes until fragrant. The aroma from the spices and chili is wonderful.

• Add the white wine, coconut cream and fish sauce to the fry pan. Bring to the boil, stirring any pan drippings from the base of the fry pan. Pour the mixture in the fry pan over the tailor fillets in the baking dish. Cover the baking dish with a lid or a double layer of foil. Pop into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets.

To serve, sprinkle the tailor with a generous amount of chopped coriander.

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