A romantic dinner for two; menu includes Sweet and Sour Fish with stir fried vegetables and rice. Twenty-two years ago my brother Roger was dating his wife; well Teresa wasn’t his wife at the time. I don’t think they were engaged yet…but they did marry and now have two beautiful grown daughters.
The deal was cinched (my story) the night they had their special dinner at my home and I made my famous Sweet and Sour Fish dish for them. My four children served as the wait staff and ate in the kitchen that evening to give the love birds some privacy. We had candles and ambience centered around the low chow table with Asian table settings. The food was so good Roger still boasts 22 years later that it’s the best meal he has ever eaten. Once you pour the sauce over the fish, serve immediately to enjoy the tender fish encased in a crunchy batter and covered with crisp tender vegetables and homemade sweet and sour sauce.
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The Sauce-Fish Batter
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Shortening, melted
3/4 cup Water
The Rest-Stir Fried Vegetables
1 Tbsp Oil
1/4 cup Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Ginger, minced
1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Carrots, julienne sliced
1/4 cup Green Pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Salt
1. Cut the fish into 1-inch chunks and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Put into bowl and let set for 20 minutes.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
2. In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Then add vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and water and stir together. Place on medium heat stirring as it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Then add shortening and water. Stir together with your hand until moist. Then using your fingers as a whisk in a loose fist, beat the batter for 3 minutes until it is smooth, shiny and thinly coats the fish (add more water as necessary).
4. Heat the 2-3 cups oil in frying pan so that it is about 3/4-1” deep. Dip the fish pieces in the batter and fry in a few at a time to maintain the heat. Turn as needed to form a golden crust on all sides. Drain on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven.
5. Heat a medium fry pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, stir fry the onion for about 60 seconds. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 more seconds. Add the carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the green pepper and stir fry for 60 seconds. Add the salt and mix.
6. Scoop the vegetables into the sweet and sour sauce. Take the fish out of the oven, arrange on a platter, and pour the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately with rice.
• Exchange green peppers for yellow, red or orange peppers.
• Exchange cod for flounder or tilapia.
Source—Ying Ling Lui
sauces over under and through