Our friends at the Sunshine Coast’s multi award-winning Spirit House is an experience for all five senses.The restaurant is nestled in tropical garden courtyards wrapped around a tranquil, lily pond. The setting has been described as reflecting that of a tropical film set, enhanced by contemporary Asian cuisine which is a fragrant delight.
The food is predominantly Thai inspired and a hugely popular ‘hands-on’ cooking school offers an opportunity to reproduce favourites from the menu. The restaurant is open everyday for lunch, and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday nights. Cooking classes are held every day. Whether you’re on holidays or live locally, if you love spicy Asian food head to the Spirit House for a touch of Asia right here on the coast.
To give you a ‘taste’ of what you can experience at Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking school, here’s a recipe of one of the magnificent signature dishes (my personal favourite) for you to try at home.
Crispy Fried Whole Fish with Tamarind Chilli Sauce
1 whole fish, weighing about 500 gm – cleaned, scaled, gutted & gilled. Plain flour to coat fish 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
Tamarind Chilli Sauce:
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 red chillies, finely chopped, deseeded & julienned
2 golden or red shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh or pickled galangal
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander root or stem
10 white peppercorns
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
half cup tamarind water
coriander or Thai sweet basil to garnish
To make Sauce:
In mortar, pound white peppercorns, add garlic, shallots, galangal, coriander root – pound to coarse paste. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok and fry the paste and chillies until fragrant – about 2 minutes. Add fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind water. The sauce should be sweet, tangy and salty and should be quite thick. If too dry, moisten with a few tablespoons water. Simmer this sauce for a few minutes for the flavours to come together. Remove sauce from wok, keep warm.
To Cook Fish:
Heat remaining oil in wok. Make sure oil is sizzling hot by testing with a piece of garlic. Slide fish gently into oil, head first. Using wok flipper, spoon oil over the top of the fish while cooking. This will take about 10 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over, fry on the second side for about 5 minutes. Carefully lift out, drain on paper towel.
My recommendation: book a cooking class here and let the experts show you all of the tips, while enjoying a nice glass of wine and enjoying the tranquil surrounds of Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School.
Spirit House Restaurant & Cooking School
Phone: 07 5446 8977
Address: 20 Ninderry Road, Yandina. 4561, Sunshine Coast, Qld.