Chinese Whole Fish with Black Bean Sauce
- Peanut oil or vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) Petrole soles, scaled and eviscerated, head off
- 2 tablespoons Chinese fermented black beans, rinsed well and drained
- 4 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Red Pepper Dipping Sauce, recipe follows, accompaniment
- Steamed white rice, accompaniment
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced on the bias, garnish
- Red Pepper Dipping Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried red chile flakes
- 4 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
In a large wok or pot, heat the vegetable oil to 400 degrees F.
Make 2 or 3 slashes diagonally across the flesh of each side of the fish.
In a small bowl, mash the black beans and garlic. Add the rice wine, oil, ginger, sugar, pepper flakes, and salt, and whisk to combine. Rub the mixture over the outside of the fish, rubbing onto the slashes.
In a shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and flour. Dredge the fish in the mixture and shake to remove any excess. Carefully slide the flour-coated fish into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes, turning as necessary with tongs. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve, arrange the fried fish on a platter with the red pepper sauce and rice. Garnish with the chopped green onions and serve immediately.Red Pepper Dipping Sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a decorative bowl and mix. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
Yield: about 1/3 cup
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