Friday, November 02, 2007

Variety of Food, Day 1: Szechuan Fried Fish

This is a recipe I have done once before, but it's been awhile. That means it's similar to it being a new dish, except I'm less concerned that it will royally suck. Here's the gist of it:

Szechuan Fried Fish
Adapted from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon
2 pounds of a white fish (I used Chilean sea bass)
4 tbsp dry sherry
4 tbsp soy sauce (only Kikkoman is used in these parts -- you just don't mess with something that's been around since 1630)
2 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp + 1 cup cold water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Chinese black bean sauce
1/2 tsp sambal ulek (or srirachi sauce)
4 spring onions, chopped
peanut oil for frying

Score the fish and combine with 2 tbsp each of soy sauce and sherry to marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature or 2 hours in the fridge. Mix the corn starch in the tbsp of cold water until smooth, and then add the rest of the soy and sherry, plus the sugar. In a very hot wok, pour in a half-cup of oil and fry each piece of fish until it's brown on both sides (3-4 minutes per side), and remove to drain as finished. When all the fish is fried, pour out some of the hot oil so you have 2 tbsp or so. Turn the heat down to medium, and fry the garlic and ginger to a light gold, stirring constantly. Stir in the bean sauce and sambal ulek, and then add a cup of water. Restir the corn starch mixture, so it is smooth again, and then drizzle it into the wok while stirring constantly. When it starts to come to a boil and get thicker, remove from heat, add the spring onions, and pour over the fish, arranged on a serving plate.

I served this with quick-fried green beans (still crunchy!) and white rice. We had potstickers with sauce as an appetizer. The potstickers were bought frozen, and prepared to the package directions, but here's my dumpling sauce:

Dumpling Sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
dash of sesame oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped green onion

Combine everything but the green onion in a small saucepan and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sugar and spices are dissolved in the liquid. Garnish with the green onion and serve.

We had a friend in town to participate in this one, and she was convinced it was great. Eh. It was so-so. It had a suprising vinegar-y flavor, but it was okay. I took pictures, too, but I can't find the cable to get them off my camera, so I'll have to add those later.

Total kitchen time: 2.25 hours


Stephanie said...

This sounds good to me!!

cat said...

ooo i'll have to try that dumpling sauce next time i make my homemade dumplings.

Heather said...

Glad it sounds interesting -- let me know if you end up trying it!