Crispy Whole Striped Bass with Red Tomatillo Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Peanut oil or canola oil, for frying

2 cups rice flour

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

4 whole striped bass, about 1 pound each, scaled, gutted, rinsed, and patted dry

Red Tomatillo Sauce:

8 tomatillos, husked and washed

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 habanero chile, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons New Mexico chile powder

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Heat about 2 inches of oil in 2 high-sided skillets over medium heat to 360 degrees F. 
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in enough water to make a batter the consistency of a crepe batter. When the oil has reached 360 degrees, season each fish well on the inside and outside and dip into the batter, allowing any excess to run off. Carefully place 2 whole fish in each pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve each fish on a large plate, ladle with some of the Red Tomatillo Sauce, and serve.

Red Tomatillo Sauce:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place tomatillos in a small roasting pan, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. 
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in medium saucepan, add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and habanero and cook for 1 minute. Add the chile powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatillos, stir, and cook for 10 minute. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the vinegar, honey, and cilantro, and process until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

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Crispy Whole Striped Bass with Red Tomatillo Sauce