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Jan 21, 2010 09:43 AM

Where to get whole fried fish?

Hello Chowhounds,

I have had this incredible craving for a whole fried or grilled fish. Any ethnic recommendations for where I can get whole fried fish for lunch near or in Seattle? Maybe deep fried whole butterfish or snapper? I am looking for an inexpensive local spot,


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  1. Thai Palms Grill down on MLK by Othello has a great whole fried fish dish. And like everything else on the menu, it's definitely inexpensive.

    1. Mr. Villa at 15th Ave NE and Lake City Way NE has a whole fried Tilapia on the menu. I liked it. Served with beans, rice and tortillas.

      At Issian you can get a whole grilled sardine on a stick cheap but they don't do lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: seattleviking

        Many of the taquerias in the Guyamas category have whole fried Tilapia.

      2. If you're willing to take your fish to-go, the Ranch 99 Asian markets will fry any fish you purchase at the store (for free!). Most folks pick a particularly tasty looking specimen out of the live tanks, and moments later (the fishmongers will scale and clean it, of course) the poor beast is boiling in oil!

        3 Replies
        1. re: chococat

          Chococat. Thanks for the recommendation. I didn't know that Ranch 99 would fry up my fish for me. Can you be a little more descriptive on how they fry it? Is it just dredged in flour and dropped in the fryer?

          1. re: WAFoodie

            I've never actually had them fry my fish for me, but a when I was there a couple of days ago, a fish had just come out of the fryer and it smelled so good! I suspect (but could totally be wrong on this) that they fry it "Chinese style", which is unbreaded/floured. They just throw the whole fish (head and tail included) into the oil and let if bob around for a while. It's not battered and fried in the American sense, but it is really tasty and a real mess if you try to do it at home.

            1. re: chococat

              It has been about 15 years since I have gotten a fish fried for me at 99 Ranch Market but I do remember that they used to fry it only in oil - unbreaded. Really tasty though. Just make a little dipping sauce of soy, vinegar, ginger, garlic and green onions and you are good to go.

        2. Both the Green Leaf and Tamarind Tree Vietnamese restaurants (in Chinatown and Little Saigon) serve excellent whole fried fish dishes. Both are open for lunch and won't break your wallet.

          1. Both the Green Leaf and Tamarind Tree Vietnamese Restaurants in the International district serve excellent whole fish dishes (and lots of other great food), are open for lunch and dinner and are very reasonable.