Dinner was a total success tonight, it was so successful that I do not have left over for tomorrow’s lunch. No complains here, it’s always good when a carefully cooked meal is being enjoyed by loved ones, now I know why my Mama always seen so happy whenever we empty her table at family gatherings!
This is a very simple Vietnamese fish, I am not sure how authentic it is, since I am a full blooded Chinese, but hubby loved it so I assume it’s good enough.
Make three vertical slices along each side of the fish evenly spaced along its length. If you have a long fish, make four slices. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry. Mix 1/2 cup of corn starch, 1tsb of salt, 1tsb of pepper, then cover the fish fully with the powder mixture. Let it sit for 30 minutes if you have time. Heat up enough oil to cover most of the fish, when the oil is at hot, slip the fish one at a time into the oil. You are probably going to have to cook one fish at time. If so, turn the oven on to “warm.”
Fry the fish for at least 5 minutes per side. You want it to be golden brown. With 300-degree oil, I will fry a 1-pound fish for 8 minutes on the first side, 5 minutes on the other side. Larger fish will need more time.
When the first fish is done, remove it to a plate lined with paper napkin to drain some of the excess oil. Fry the second fish the same way as the first.
Spicy Fish Sauce for Dipping:
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 2 red hot Thai chile pepper, 1 green Thai chile pepper
- 1/2 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 Tbs. fresh lime or lemon juice
Roughly chop the garlic cloves, then chop the hot chile peppers along with the garlic, mince finely.
In a small sauce pan, heat up the sugar and fish sauce on hi, stir constantly to dissolve sugar. Turn off the heat once it boils.
Pour the mixture into a glass bowl, add the minced garlic and pepper, mix thoroughly. Add the water and mix again.
Pour the lime/lemon juice into the sauce and combine thoroughly. You can store this in a glass jar and use for 1-2 weeks.
Pound the chopped garlic and chile with a mortar and pestle and reduce them to a fine paste. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar and water. Stir well to blend.