I'm still searching for the ultimate British dish of fish and chips - I've tasted it at gastro pubs run by celebrity chefs as well as specialist shops that have been around for decades. While I don't appreciate the dish as much as its fans, I love other types of fried fish. There's nothing delicate or subtle about fried fish, and it needs to be served with a strongly flavoured sauce.
With its balanced flavours of hot, sour, salty and sweet, this sauce is fantastic. If you have any leftover, serve it with other types of seafood or grilled meat.
Make the sauce. Roughly chop the lemongrass, garlic cloves, bird's-eye chillies and coriander stalks. Dissolve the palm sugar in 45ml (3tbsp) of hot water then put it in the bowl of a food processor (or you can use an immersion blender). Add the lemongrass, garlic, chillies, coriander, fish sauce and lime juice, then purée. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Cut three slashes on each side of the pomfret, cutting to the bone. Dry the fish with paper towels. Sprinkle salt lightly over the fish and into the cavity.
Pour cooking oil to the depth of about 1.5cm (⅔in) into a skillet. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F), then fry the fish for about five minutes in total, or until cooked through, flipping it over once. Drain on paper towels.
Put the fish on a plate and generously spoon the sauce over and around it (you might not need it all). Garnish with sliced lime and garlic, and whole or chopped chillies, then serve immediately.