Finally, I got the chance to try this sweet & sour fish (糖醋鱼，tang cu yu). Before everything, I want to give you a little warning here: this dish requires too too much oil to fry the fish. That’s also why I didn’t dare to try it.
Yesterday, my husband and I went to shopping for groceries. I was too busy recently. Some of my blogs were done maybe days ago, or even months ago. I wrote them when I got time and was not feeling lazy. Then when I was busy and had no time for blogging, I would just publish my draft done before.
But I did cook this dish today. Yesterday my husband chose sea bass at the supermarket. I’ve done steamed fish, braised fish, roasted fish, fried fish before. I also cooked sweet & sour fish fillet before. But I never did this whole sweet & sour fish. It’s a very popular fish in China. But it’s not an easy dish to make at home, since it requires cutting skills and too too much oil. So most people order it at the restaurant. My husband had this dish when he was in Dalian, He loved it. My brother is also a big fan. I was planning to learn this dish and cook for my brother when I go back home.
- Prepare a sea bass, you can also choose carp. My fish was cleaned at the supermarket. So I just need to wash it again. Then use a sharp knife to cut about 4 cm below the gill. Make several more cut every 4 cm. When cut the fish, first cut it vertical to the bone, then horizontal to make a crescent moon shape. Do the same to the other side.
- Marinate fish with 2 tbsp cooking wine, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper for 10 mins maybe.
- Dust fish with potato starch and shake off the excessive.
- Prepare batter: 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, 3/4 cup water. Mix well. You can test batter by scooping some batter up. If it can flow like tiny stream then it’s good. Add more flour if too thin. Add more water if it’s too thick.
- Heat oil. To save oil, you can just add in enough oil that can cover half the fish. Dip fish in the batter. Make sure whole fish is coated with batter completely, especially the cut part.
- When oil is hot, grab fish by head and tail with 1 hand. Fry the fish for a little while to let the fish get firm. Then drop whole fish gently into the pot. Use a ladle to scoop and pour hot oil over the fish. Flip fish if one side turns golden brown. Fry for about 5 mins or till whole fish turns golden color. That’s how to make fish crispy.
This is how my fish looks after frying. Fin is really crispy.
7. To make sauce: Heat a pan. Add in 1 tbsp oil. Then add in 4 tbsp tomato sauce. Stir fry to make tomato sauce fully mixed with oil. and color will be brighter. Add in 3 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp vinegar and 2 tbsp water. Simmer with low heat. Dissolve 1 tsp starch in a little water and add into the sauce. Reduce sauce to condensed.
8. Pour sauce over the fried fish.
When I put the fried fish into a bigger plate, I accidentally broke its tail. Poor fish 😦
I have to let it lie down in the plate. I also garnish fish with green peas.
My husband gave me thumps up. The fish is really crispy outside, but tender and juicy inside.