6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, chopped
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 6-ounce pieces black cod, skinless and boneless, washed and patted dry
4 small cloves garlic, peeled
To make the ginger-lime dipping sauce, place two of the garlic cloves in a mortar along with the chilies, ginger and sugar. Pound into a paste. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and water. Let sit for 15 minutes before using.
Using a mandoline or knife, cut the cucumber into long, thin strips 5 to 6 inches long and 1/16 inch thick. Add the cucumber “noodles” to the dipping sauce and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over moderate heat. Cook the fish fillets until golden and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add the remaining four whole garlic cloves and cook until they turn golden. If the fish fillets are thick, cover with a lid and cook a few minutes longer.
Remove the fish and garlic and drain on paper towels. Arrange the fillets on a serving dish. Remove the cucumber noodles from the sauce and arrange them on the fish. Pour half of the sauce on top and serve the remaining sauce on the side. Top each fillet with a garlic clove. Serves 4.