Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sweet and Sour Whole Fish

Was running around town today, and stopped at an asian market for some pantry items. When I walked past the seafood section, I didn't see any live fish in the tanks, but I spotted a guy putting out some good looking red snappers on the open-air crushed ice display. I recalled my grandma's advice that the fresh fish should have clear eyes, smells like the ocean, and red under the gills. And I guess the store must be used to picky fish shoppers as the guy was nice enough to let me check out the fish as I flip the fish to look at both eyes, held it about 3 inches from my nose to sniff it, and looked under the gills. Sidenote: here's a good tip, always carry disinfectant wipes. I did. And I bought a red snapper with a sweet and sour fish in mind for dinner.

Adapted this recipe from Linda Doeser's book, and increased the vinegar amount for a brighter taste.

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lb red snapper
4 tsp cornstarch
vegetable oil
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs chopped ginger
1 tbs chopped shallots
8 oz cherry tomatoes
3 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs tomato ketchup
1 tbs chili sauce
1 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs water
1 tsp cornstach
salt and freshly ground black pepper
corinder leaves and
springs onions for garnishing

Heat oil in a large wok.

After rinsing fish and drying it, score both sides of fish diagonally. Drench it in corn starch and shake off excess..Gently slide fish into the hot oil, with fish sliding away from you to minimse splattering. With a ladle, bathe fish with the hot oil till it's brown and crispy on the underside. Remove and drain on paper towel. Pour off all the oil into a heatproof bowl and clean wok of crumbs. Return about 3-4 tbs of oil back onto the wok, and stir fry the garlic, ginger and shallots till fragrant. Add cherry tomatoes and cook til they are soft. Add in ketchup, chili sauce, vinegar and sugar. Mix the water with one tsp cornstarch and add to sauce. Cook for another 1-2 mins. Ladle sauce onto fish, season with salt and pepper, garnish and serve immediately with rice and vegetables.

Note: A very simple recipe and good for fish filets too.


KellytheCulinarian said...

What a beautiful plating! I'm so impressed.

Anonymous said...

I like this dish and always have it at the restaurant.

Everyday Healy said...

waw... you are such a great chef. Mmm... I like fish. thanks for teaching how to choose a fish. And, I feel like trying to do this.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Sweet and Sour Fish, yummy! I like, I like! Red Snapper, such a yummy fish too!

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Kelly,
LOL! Many thanks!

Hey San.y,
Now you can cook it too! ;)

Hi Healy,
You are too kind! Try it and let me know?

Hey C,
Xie xie!

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I served sweet and sour fish. Thanks for the reminder! Hard to find nice whole fish for frying here. I normally use cod fillet.

Anonymous said...

Been wanting to try this but not yet. Another recipe for me to x-reference when I need it. It's fish you know, so I need to be careful ;)

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Judy,
Cod filets would be good cooked this way too. Yum! :)

Hi Tigerfish,
Glad to know that you'll be trying it someday, and don't big fish like you eat smaller fish? ;)

wonda said...

Wah, so colorful! I love fish and eat them at least twice a week. Mind if I add you to my link?

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Alice,
Of course you can! :)

SteamyKitchen said...

Such pretty plating! You are getting really good at food styling

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Steamy Kitchen,
Hey sista, I learned from the best-you! Thanks!

Indonesia Eats said...

you are such a good assembler.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Thanks adaliman!

Cris said...

That's good advice... I need to get some wipes! And thanks for the reminder on the fish, I did not know about the red gills.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Cris,
My pleasure! :)