Recipe – Sweet and Sour Whole Fish

 

This recipe is an AUTHENTIC Chinese dish that many moms use. Jeff made his mom’s recipe below recently for the forthcoming Chinese New Year. Fish symbolizes abundance in Chinese culture and who doesn’t want that, right?

Total cook time: 15min
Total prep time: 20min
Serves 4 people

THINGS YOU’LL NEED:
1 Chef’s Knife
1 Wok
1 Spatula
1 Prep dish
1 Wide serving dish
1 Paper towel

INGREDIENTS (in order of usage):

FISH
1.5lb Fresh whole tilapia, cleaned and gutted (or fish of choice)
1/2c Corn oil

ACCOUTREMENTS PHASE I
1/4c Red bell pepper, chopped
1/4c Green bell pepper, chopped
1/2c Vidalia onions, chopped
4pcs Garlic, diced

SAUCE PHASE I
1/4c Ketchup
1/3c Vinegar
1tsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2tsp Soy sauce

SAUCE PHASE II
1T Corn starch w/ 2T water
Salt & pepper (to taste)

ACCOUTREMENTS PHASE II
4pcs Ginger, sliced
1/8c Scallion, 1″ chopped pcs
1/2c Pineapple, diced (optional)

OTHER
Cilantro to taste (garnish, optional)
Cooked rice (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

FISH PREP
1. On prep dish, score fish in the middle w/ 2″ cuts, both sides.
TIP: This is so the fish cooks evenly due to uneven thickness. You can skip scoring the fish if fish used has even thickness (i.e. flounder).
2. Repeat scoring alongside both sides near top of dorsal fin.
TIP: Typically more than 1/2c of oil is used to evenly coat sides of fish, but since you have to dispose of the oil after single usage, we use less

FISH FRY
3. Turn stove burner on high heat and add corn oil to wok. Once oil reaches 350F, gently slide your fish into the wok.
TIP: Make sure your wok is completely dry else you will get splattering from the oil.
4. Lower heat to medium and turn over fish only when one side is done (roughly 3-5min per side, depending on thickness).
TIP: When to turn over fish? This can be checked by carefully lifting a part of tilapia from one side only.
5. Place the cooked fish on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil and put aside on serving dish.
6. Drain oil from wok, leaving only 2T.

ACCOUTREMENTS & SAUCE
7. Add ACCOUTREMENTS PHASE I to wok.
TIP: Again, makes sure your ingredients are dry to avoid oil splatter.
8. Stir fry until medium firmness (roughly 3min).
9. Mix SAUCE PHASE I ingredients together, add to work and stir for 1 minute.
TIP: Do not use DARK soy sauce, else the dark color of your sauce will not be pleasing to the eye.
10. Mix SAUCE PHASE II ingredients together, stir to thicken, then add to wok.
TIP: Corn starch thickens any sauce
11. Add cooked fish back into center of wok.
12. Scoop sauce on top of fish to cover fish.
TIP: If no sauce is used, super hot oil could be drizzled over the fish for extra crisp.
13. Turn heat to low and sautee for 2 minutes.
14. Add ACCOUTREMENTS PHASE II to wok and mix for 2 minutes.
15. Garnish with cilantro (optional).

If you followed instructions properly, your dish should come out looking like our first pic above.
Plate, serve with rice, and enjoy your grub!

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