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Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet
Taiwanese Fish Fillets
Taiwan is an island but often the whole group of islands that make up the Republic of China is known as Taiwan. Except up in the mountains, fresh fish is usually readily available in Taiwan and is very popular at mealtimes in any of its forms. Hardly any of the fish is wasted, even fish-heads are used for a variety of dishes, including soup.
If you are shopping in a market where you choose the exact fish that you want and they prepare it for you, you can choose any of your favourite fish, so long as it is easy to remove the bones. This dish really needs to be bone free.
Choose Fresh Fish: Make sure that the fish you choose is really fresh. You can tell this by looking at its eyes. Don't choose one where the eyes are cloudy.
As the fish are usually weighed whole, you will pay for the whole fish, so why not take the head and bones as well and make a delicious fish soup with them? The fishmonger will fillet the fish for you and remove all the bones.
Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet
This dish can be made as a meal for one, multiplied for as many diners as required, or used as a platter in a larger meal that offers several dishes.
A Meal for One: This Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet recipe may be used as a meal for one. Just pop some rice in the rice-cooker as you begin preparation and it will be cooked and ready when the fillet is cooked. Add some salad or vegetables and you have a healthy, well-balanced meal. When I prepared this meal I was in a hurry, so served it with gluten-free rice spirals, as they were quicker than the rice. Then I just added a tossed side salad.
Part of a Meal: True Taiwanese meals rarely consist of just one main dish, so it is more likely that this Taiwanese Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet recipe is designed to be shared as one of several platters. We westerners usually begin our meal with soup, but in Taiwan the final course of a meal is often the soup which can be enjoyed in a more leisurely fashion when the hunger pangs have been satiated. The final course may also be fruit.
- The way I made the dish I omitted the chili, but many people like a little heat in their meals and a suggestion for this is added in the recipe.
- If you do not like the wine vinegar, you can substitute pineapple juice - and even add some of the pineapple pieces from the tin if you wish.
- I have made this recipe gluten free, but if that doesn't bother you, wheaten flour can be substituted for the sweet potato flour.
- This recipe tastes quite good without the added sugar.
- The fish may be deep fried in a larger quantity of oil.
- 1 fish fillet, boneless
- 1 egg
- 3 dessertspoons sweet potato flour
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped finely
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped in fine strips
- ½ teaspoon root ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon gluten free chicken stock powder, mixed with ½ cup water
- 1 dessertspoon ketchup
- 2 dessertspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons brown sugar, (if omitted, it still tastes good)
- 1½ teaspoons cornflour, mixed with 2 dessertspoons water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 dessertspoons garlic chives leaves, chopped
- Slice the fish into thin strips.
- Mix together the egg, sweet potato flour, soy sauce and garlic.
- Coat the fish with this mixture.
- Heat the oil and then fry the fish in it until a golden colour. Drain the fish and place on a serving plate.
- In a little of the remaining oil, lightly fry the onion and ginger. Some chopped red chili may be added if desired.
- Add the chicken stock, ketchup, rice wine and brown sugar. Bring to the boil and thicken with the cornflour mixture, stirring to avoid lumps. Taste and add pinch of salt if required.
- Add the sesame oil just before removing from the heat. Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with the chives.
- Serve with steamed rice and vegetables.
The photo above is missing the garlic chives garnish. I had eaten the dish before I realized that the final photograph was blurred! It tasted great.