Our mate Luke Nguyen would be proud of our effort last night.
We successfully pulled off a Crispy Fried Rockfish with ginger fish sauce that would give his restaurant’s version a run for it’s money.
After enjoying a delicious Sambal Fried sea-bass the other night at Satay House it got me thinking how little whole fish we eat these days. Much of the blame comes down to the lack of good fish mongers about. Whilst I am lucky to have the incredible Steve Hatt in my neighbourhood, I only really pay a visit on the odd Saturdays and sometimes just the thought of lining up is off-putting.
With Sam passing through Chinatown and with the thought of fresh fish still in our minds, he popped into that seafood shop in Dansey Pl (you know the back lane where Lo Noodle Company is) and picked up a beautiful rock cod for £9. A perfect fish to lightly fry.
There is actually very little preparation required for this dish, especially when the fish monger did an amazing job of cleaning, gutting and descaling the fish. If rockfish isn’t available you could easily substitue for sea-bass or snapper.
Recipe adapted from Luke Nguyen’s Secrets of the Red Lantern and here.
Ginger, lime fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, julienned
2 small chillies, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
Combine the fish sauce, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Pound all the remaining ingredients in a mortar & pestle and add to the fish sauce mixture.
2 green shallots, chopped
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until hot. Pour oil over chopped shallots in a heat proof bowl. Cool and serve.
1 medium-sized whole rockfish, descaled and cleaned
Cornflour or Potato flour
Vegetable Oil, for cooking
Vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in hot water and drained to serve
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan large enough to hold the entire fish. To prepare your fish make 3 small parallel cuts in the thickest parts of each side of the fish. This will ensure even cooking. Dust your fish with corn flour.
To test whether the oil is hot enough, put a wooden spoon or wooden chopsticks in the pan. If small bubbles appear immediately, then your oil is ready to cook.
Carefully slide the fish into the oil. Immediately the fish will puff up. Cook for 5 minutes. To serve, prepare a plate with rice vermicelli and dress with shallot oil. Place the fish on top and dress with ginger, lime fish sauce.
Crispy, delicate, juicy fish…