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                Sunday Family
     Dinner                     
          Deep Fried Sweet and Sour Fish 

Fish deep fried with its skin on is succulent, it has a crisp skin and moist interior. This would be one of my favorites ways to cook a whole fish. The sweet and sour sauce can be adjusted by leaving out or adding ingredients according to your taste. Use pineapple pieces and canned lichees in the sauce. The easiest way to deep fry the fish is in a large wok, filled a little less and 3/4 the way up with Safflower or Canola which have high smoke point temperatures. If you do not have a wok, try frying the fish in pieces in a frying pan - it saves a lot of oil and is just as effective.

4 Portions
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Fish & Marinade:
1kg-1.5kg red snapper or dore (pickerel) or sea bass
or any other white fleshed fish, scaled and gutted 
but skin and head still on (optional) 

2 tsp ginger, finely chopped 
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
1 tsp. dry sherry 
pinch salt 

To Cook:
1 tsp. five spice powder 
50-75g corn starch 
pinch salt and freshly ground pepper 
canola or corn oil for deep frying 

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
2 tbsp canola
or corn oil 
2 small shallots finely chopped 
8 mushrooms
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar 
3 tbsp fructose sugar 
2 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup) 

1 tbsp soy sauce 
1-2 tsp. chili sauce, (dependent on taste) 
300ml water 
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch flour + 2 tbsp water 
30g canned finely sliced bamboo shoots, sliced into slithers 
3 tbsp ginger, peeled and sliced into fine slithers 
2 tbsp spring onion sliced, diagonally finely 
1/4 can canned lichees and/or
pineapple chunks (optional) 

Method:

Marinade: In a container mix together the ginger, garlic and wine or sherry. With a sharp knife make diagonal slits (3-4) across the flesh of the flesh of the fish on either side. 
These diagonal slits should be about 45 degrees both ways so that diamond shape cuts are on each side of the fish. Rub the marinade into the fish and set it aside for 20-30 minutes.
Sauce: In a hot saucepan add the oil, shallots and garlic, cook them stirring for 1 minute until softened. Stir in the mushrooms, pineapple chunks, lichees, rice wine vinegar, caster sugar, tomato sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce (optional) and water. Bring it to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for 15 minutes. Mix the flour and the water together then stir it into the sauce. Stir until the sauce thickens, then add the garlic spring onion and ginger. Set aside until ready to serve.

To Cook: Combine the flour, five spice and a little salt and pepper on a plate. Remove the fish from the marinade, place the fish in the flour and coat it well. Heat the oil so that it is 180 - 190 degrees C (a cube of bread when dropped in it will float to the top and be golden brown in 20-30 seconds). Deep Fry the fish in the oil, on both sides so that it is crisp and golden (6-8 minutes). Remove the fish from the oil and drain it on a paper towel to absorb the oil.

To Serve: Place the fish on a serving plate on a bed of chopped up lettuce and pour over the hot sweet and sour sauce on the fish. Garnish with fresh parsley or coriander. 

Serve the fish with steamed or boiled rice, and stir fried vegetables (optional) and a
dry white wine.

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