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Sweet & Sour Mandarin Fish


Chefs Hu Guoguang and Pan Yewen
North Garden Restaurant

This dish, nicknamed “squirrel fish”, is served at banquets and special occasions. North Garden can prepare the fish with a day’s advance notice.

2 lbs whole pickerel
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp potato starch
2 eggs
2 tsp flour
3 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp chopped onion
2 tsp chopped red and green
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cooking wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp white vinegar
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp ketchup
a few drops of sesame oil
2 tsp pine nuts

1. Clean off fish scales and guts. Fillet the fish with skin on, leaving the collar bone attached.
2. Place the fillets skin side down. Cross cut the fillets in a diamond pattern, without cutting through the skin.
3. Rub the fillets with 1 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of pepper. Lightly dust with potato starch. Beat together eggs and flour. Make sure slices do not stick to each other, then evenly coat with the mixture.
4. Heat canola oil in a deep pot or deep fryer to 200°C. Holding one of the fillets at each end, slowly lower into the hot oil. Gently shake if meat sticks together. Fry until crispy. Repeat with second fillet and arrange on a serving plate.
5. Heat 3 tsp oil in a pan. Add minced garlic, onion, and green and red pepper. Add cooking wine, stirring until fragrant. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, and add vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and 1/2 tsp salt.
6. Add potato starch and cook until sauce has thickened. Add sesame oil, then pour the sauce over the fried fish, sprinkling pine nuts on top to garnish.

Yield 10 servings

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