Cut the fish fillet into 2 inch by 1-inch pieces. In a glass bowl, mix the salt, white pepper, chopped ginger, and egg white. Add the fish fillets and marinate them for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
To make the sauce: Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water (for thickening the sauce). Place the remaining sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat to boiling. Stir in cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until sauce thickens. Turn off heat and set aside.
Rinse the abalone with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Place on a heatproof platter and steam for 10 minutes on high heat. Place remaining cornstarch on sheet of waxed paper and place fish fillets in the cornstarch to coat all sides.
Heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil (about 3 cups) in a frying pan or wok to 350 degrees F.
Place 8 to 10 pieces of fish in the oil at a time. Fry fish fillet for 2 minutes or until firm (light brown) and drain on paper towel. Continue to cook until all the fish is fried.
Place the fish fillets in the center of platter and remove the abalone from the steamer. Place around the edge of the platter.
Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
If you can't find fresh abalone, you can use canned, which are usually larger than fresh. Steam (5 minutes) until warm and then slice very thin before arranging on edge of platter.
Copyright 2001, Leeann Chin, All Rights Reserved