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Crispy Sweet and Sour Fish | Chef John’s Cooking Class

Crispy Sweet and Sour Fish | Chef John’s Cooking Class
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Crispy Sweet and Sour Fish, if made well, is a dish that has a beautiful color, an enticing aroma, and a delicious flavor. The golden-brown fried fish, soaked in a rich sauce, is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a full-bodied umami.

Recipe
PRE TIME: 10 min
COOKING TIME: 15 min
TOTAL TIME: 25 min
4 SERVING
Ingredients:
  • 2 lb Striped Bass
  • 8 oz Shrimp
  • 1 lb Flour
  • 7 oz Starch
  • 4 oz Water
  • 1 count Egg
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 2 oz Onion
  • 3 stalk Green Onion
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 oz Haw Flakes
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 0.25 cup Apple cider vinegar
Directions:
Step 1
Step 1
1
Prepare fish: remove scales, innards and dorsal fin. Put clean fish on flat cutting board, starting from head, 1 inch apart, cut straight vertically down to back bone then turn your knife horizontally toward head cut about ½ inch, working all way to tail. Do the same on another side.
Step 2
Step 2
2
In a large bowl, combine flour, starch, salt, egg and water, mixing well till a batter is formed.
Step 3
Step 3
3
Hold on to fishtail, deep whole fish into batter. Make sure entire fish is coated with batter.
Step 4
Step 4
4
Deep fry fish at low temperature. Carefully holding on to fishtail and flip at beginning to form a nice shape. Tip: you may use a strainer on bottom of wok to prevent over cook. Take out fish.
Step 5
Step 5
5
Re-fry at high temperature for a few minutes till golden.
Step 6
Step 6
6
Prepare sweet and sour sauce: leave about a tablespoon oil in wok, add onion, green onion, ketchup, cooking wine, water, sugar, honey, and hawthorn flakes, stir and cook for a well.
Step 7
Step 7
7
Strain out solid pieces, add shrimps and apple cider vinegar, simmer for a few minutes, add starch and water mixture to thickening.
Step 8
Step 8
8
Pour sweet and sour sauce over fried fish.
Step 9
Step 9
9
Garnish and serve.
Final Notes
Final Notes
We can use a variety of fish for this dish -- carp, silver carp, or perch are all good choices. We want to cross-hatch both sides of the fish so that it cooks faster, and the grooves will also help it absorb more flavor as it cooks.
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