Thursday, June 7, 2012

Salt & Pepper Fish


Salt & Pepper Fish is a common dish found in most Chinese restaurant menus.  It is among the several variations of popular Salt & Pepper fried dishes including Salt & Pepper Pork Chops, Salt & Pepper Shrimp and even Salt & Pepper Calamari.  All are good tasting dishes, but my favorite has to be the fish.

Some variations of Salt & Pepper Fish dish simply stir fry the fish in salt & pepper, onions and spicy Jalapeno peppers.  I prefer the battered fish variation of this dish which gives it a crunchy coating and moist meat in the center. To achieve the salt & pepper flavor in a battered version will require an extra hour to marinate the fish ahead of time.  For this recipe I used Tilapia - a mild flavored white fish that absorbs marination well.  Another good fish option is Cod.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think?

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+1 hour for marination)
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Tilapia Filets cut into inch cubes
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Peppercorn
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Cups Cold Water
1 Teaspoon Yellow Curry Powder
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Jalapeno Pepper Sliced
3 Green Onions Chopped

Step 1:  Salting the Fish - In a medium bowl, add the fish cubes, sea salt and ground pepper.  Combine the ingredients well and place in the refrigerator to marinate for an hour.  For a spicier dry marinade, try adding a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes to the mix.

Step 2:  The Batter - In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cold water and curry powder.  Stir the ingredients together until it forms into a batter with similar consistency to a pancake mix.  Set aside.  Tip: a little bit of baking powder in a batter will add crispiness to the finished product.

Step 3: Frying the Fish - In a large skillet or Wok heat the vegetable oil to medium high.  One by one, dip the  fish cubes into the batter to coat all sides.  Then add the battered fish to the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute on each side.  Remove the fish from the oil and set aside to cool on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the oil. Repeat this process with several pieces of fish at a time until the entire batch is cooked and set aside.

Step 4: Stir Frying in the Onions and Peppers -- Reduce the oil in the skillet/wok to only about tablespoon of oil and discard the rest.  Return the pan to medium high heat and add the Jalapeno peppers and green onions.  Stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds to a minute).   Return the fish to the pan and stir-fry it with the peppers and onions until well combined (about 2 minutes).  Transfer the dish to a plate and serve with rice.



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