Norah's Cooking Diary

Sweet and Sour Fish (甜酸鱼)

Added by: Norah   Added on: July 10, 2020

## Season 4, Episode 8 ##

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Hi everyone. In this video I am going to share with you a Sweet and Sour Fish (甜酸鱼) recipe.

Crispy fried fish top with sweet and sour sauce and colorful vegetables looks so marvelous and taste wonderfully delicious. The combination of sweet and sour flavors will indulge your taste buds on every mouthful.

Sweet and Sour Fish is a popular Chinese dish in Malaysia and in many Asian Countries. It is a classic dish that is well-loved for generations.

Happy cooking 😉

Several notes here to share with you:

  • You could substitute Barramundi with Snapper, Cod or Grouper.

  • You substitute Apple Cider Vinegar with White Vinegar if you prefer.

  • You could substitute brown sugar with white sugar if you prefer.

  • You could substitute potato flour with corn flour if you prefer.

Here is a quick rundown of the recipe:

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Fish

(Serves 3-4 peoples)

  • 1 Whole (±500 g) Barramundi

  • 50 g Potato Flour

  • 20 g Custard Powder

  • 10 g Garlic Powder

  • 1 Tsp Ground White Pepper

  • ¼ pcs Green Capsicum

  • 1 Whole (±70 g) Brown Onion, peeled

  • 1 Stalk (±30 g) Spring Onion

  • ±20 g Ginger, peeled

  • 1 Whole (± 60 g) Egg

  • ¼ Tsp Salt

  • 500 ml Cooking Oil

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Fish - Sauce

  • 50 g Tomato Paste

  • 1½ Tbsp HP Sauce

  • 1½ Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 40 g Brown Sugar

  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

  • 30 ml Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 150 ml Chicken Stock

Method of Preparation

  1. Slice the ginger thinly then transfer them into a bowl. Cut the brown onion into half and further cut each half into quarters. Separate the onion layers into individual flakes then transfer them into the bowl. Cut the capsicum into half horizontally. Further slice each of the halved capsicum on a slant angle, about 1.5cm wide then transfer them into the bowl. Choose a spring onion with a thick stalk about 30cm long from its bottom. Cut the spring onion diagonally then transfer them into the bowl. Cut and discard the top green section of the red chili. Cut the red chili into half lengthwise then remove and discard their seeds. Further slice each of the halved red chili on a slant angle, about 1.5cm wide then transfer them into the bowl. Keep the prepared vegetables aside for now.

  2. Prepare a large 27cm x 33cm ziplock bag. Add potato flour, custard powder, garlic powder and ground white pepper into the ziplock bag. Seal the ziplock bag properly to avoid spillage. Shake the ziplock bag to mix the mixture thoroughly and then set it aside.

  3. Beat the egg with the salt together until they are combined well and set the bowl aside.

  4. Pat dry the whole fish thoroughly inside out, including the stomach and the head.

    To prepare the fish:

    Cut any one side of the fish rib bones connected to the spine with a pair of scissors. Then cut the bone along the side fin (pectoral fin) connected to the gills cover.

    Score the meaty part of the fish's tail vertically with a sharp knife. Gently with slicing motion, run the sharp knife lengthwise from the tail towards the head of the fish.

    Cut the fish open. Do not cut through the skin. Make sure that the skin remains attached to the top fin (dorsal fin).

    Score the other side of the fish about 2.5cm apart between each cut. Score a cross cut at the last section of the tail.

    Preparing the fish this way is call "butterflying'. This will allow the sauce to distribute evenly over the fish when served.

  5. Transfer the "butterflied" fish with its skin side up into the bowl containing the beaten egg mixture prepared earlier. Coat the fish generously on both sides with the egg mixture including its head and tail. Hold the tail to lift the fish up then transfer it into the ziplock bag containing the flour mixture. Seal the ziplock bag properly to avoid spillage. Flip and shake the ziplock bag until the fish is well coated with the flour mixture. Open the "butterflied" fish while inside the ziplock bag to generously coat with the flour mixture. Coating the fish with the flour mixture in the ziplock bag this way will give an even coating. The kitchen bench is also a lot less messy.

  6. Add the cooking oil to a stir fry pan and heat it up over MEDIUM heat until it is hot. Dip a wooden chopstick into the oil. The oil is hot when it starts bubbling steadily. Hold the tail to lift the fish up and shake it to remove any excess flour before taking it out from the ziplock bag. Hold both ends of the fish and carefully lower it into the pan with its skin side down. Fry the fish until its skin turns golden in color. Typically, this will take about 5 mins.

    After 5 mins: The fish skin should now be golden in color. Flip the fish carefully to brown the other side. Continue to fry the fish until it is cooked through and well browned. Typically, this will take about 4 mins.

    After 4 mins: The fish should now be well browned and cooked through.

    Tilt the pan slightly to let the oil cover the fish's head. Hold the fish just below its head with a spatula to stop it from sliding down. Hold this for about 30 sec to brown the head well. Repeat the same with the fish's tail. Hold this for about 30 sec to brown the tail well. Switch the heat OFF. Transfer the fish onto a wire rack to keep it crispy.

    Carefully remove the hot oil and all frying particles in the pan with a ladle. Add a scoop of oil back to the pan to rinse away the remaining frying particles in the pan. Remove the oil together with the frying particles from the pan. Repeat the process until the pan is almost free from the frying particles. It is important to remove the frying particles from the pan to avoid them from burning when the pan is heated on HIGH heat.

  7. Add tomato paste, HP sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and chicken stock into a bowl. Stir the mixture until they are mixed thoroughly then set the bowl aside.

  8. Add about 1 Tbsp of oil back to the pan and heat it up over HIGH heat until the pan is smoky hot. Add the sliced vegetables prepared earlier to the pan. Stir the vegetables on HIGH heat for about 1 min. This will give the vegetables a char flavor but still keep their crisp and bright color.

    After 1 min: Reduce heat to LOW. Transfer the vegetables into a bowl and set them aside.

  9. Give the liquid ingredients prepared earlier a quick stir. Carefully pour them into the hot pan. Increase the heat to HIGH. Stir the mixture until the liquid reaches a slightly thick consistency. The sauce should be just thick enough to coat the spatula. Add the stir fry vegetables back to the pan. Flip the vegetables with the sauce once or twice only then switch the heat OFF. Add the sesame oil to the pan. No stirring required.

  10. Spread the sweet and sour sauce together with the colorful vegetables over the fish.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves for that extra flavor and serve immediately while it is still hot.

Happy cooking 😉🧡

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