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Master Chef John Zhang shows you tips on making perfect Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish with step-by-step instructions.
Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish (松鼠鱼) is one of the signature dishes in Huaiyang cuisine. The surface is crisp and the inside is tender and soft; the sauce is sour and sweet, agreeable to the taste; has fresh and delicious flavor.
Note: Although carp was used in the namesake recipe, there are a variety of fish that can be prepared this way. One common fish to use is river or sea bass.
1 lb bass fish cleaned and sprinkled with salt, and cut with the cross hatch pattern on both sides (Do not throw away the head or tail)
1/2 cup of sugar
White pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornstarch
5 cups of cooking oil, enough to submerge entire fish
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp water
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tomato, diced
2 onions diced
Fresh green peas
Ginger to taste
2 cloves Garlic
1. When cutting fish, leave the skin on, as this will help create the fluffy net pattern.
2. Season fish with salt sugar, and white pepper. Dip in egg yolk, and then coat it lightly with cornstarch.
3. Heat the wok on high heat, add oil, and once oil is boiling, carefully submerge the entire fish in oil and deep fry. Take the fish out when it is half cooked, then wait a few minutes until the oil temperature becomes hotter, and re-submerge the fish back in the oil.
4. Remove the fish once it is golden colored and crispy. Prepare the sauce next.
5. For the sauce, leave some oil in the wok, add in the tomato paste, water, salt to taste, about 10 teaspoons of sugar and white pepper to taste. Then add tomatoes, ginger, and garlic, onion, and peas.
6. In a separate cup, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water. Slowly add this and the vinegar to the wok and stir mixture until thick.
7. Pour over the fish and enjoy!
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