In a small saucepan
, combine the sugar
, fish sauce, vinegar, and water and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. In a mortar and pestle
, pound together the ginger, chile
, and garlic
. Once the fish sauce mixture is cooled, add the ginger mixture and lime
juice. Set aside.
In a large wok
(large enough to hold the entire fish), heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully, slide the whole fish into the oil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. The scales of the elephant fish will puff up as it cooks. Remove the fish to a platter, and dress
with 4 tablespoons of ginger fish sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Serve the fish with steamed jasmine rice
and remaining ginger