Malaysian Sweet and Sour Fish

Malaysian Sweet and Sour Fish
Malaysian food has an immense Chinese influence. A big part of Malaysian cuisine is cooked in Chinese style. This Sweet and Sour Fish is a common dish cooked in most Malay homes. This crispy fried fish is generally the freshly caught Grouper orGaroupa in Portuguese, Kerapu in Malay. You can also use a Telapia or any other firm Fleshed whole fish for cooking this wonderful dish. I cook this quite often with Telapia and it is a hit with the children of my family. I am sure this dish would easily become a hit in your kitchen too.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Resting Time       :  10 minutes
Cooking Time      :  30 minutes
Difficulty              :  Medium
Serves                  :  6

Ingredients : 750 grams whole Grouper, cleaned & scaled [Garoupa in Portuguese; Kerapu in Malay] (See note for other options)Salt to tastePepper to taste2 Eggs, lightly beaten1 cup Corn Starch FlourPeanut or Vegetable oil, for deep-frying fish1 large Onion, thinly sliced1 stalk Celery, diced1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced1/2 Green Pepper, diced1 cup Pineapple, diced (canned or fresh)2 stalks Scallions/Green Onions, white parts only, cut into thin strips lengthwise, for garnish 1 tablespoon Corn Starch Flour combined with 3 tablespoon Water, to make a slurry
Sweet & Sour Sauce Ingredients :

 2-3 tablespoons Tomato Sauce 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce 1-2 tablespoon, or to taste Chili Paste 1-2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar (or White Vinegar) 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil (if you don't get Sesame Oil, use Peanut Oil ) 1/2 teaspoon Sugar Pepper to taste 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock (You can also use stock cubes in water)

Method :  1) Combine all the sweet & sour sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well with the chicken stock, set aside.

  2) Wash, Clean and Dry the fishes well inbetween two kitchen towels.

  3) Make 2 or 3 deep slits on both sides of the fish, season with salt & white pepper.

  4) Dip fish into beaten eggs and set aside for 10 minutes.

  5) Take Cour Starch Flour on a dry plate .Dredge fish completely in corn flour, shake off excess.

   6) Heat peanut or vegetable oil in a hot wok to a smoking point, carefully lower fish into the wok, fry until fish is golden brown, turning fish once. Be careful while frying, it may splatter hot oil, so always maintain a safe distance and lower the heat before turning the fish. Once it is turned you can turn up the heat again.

  7) Once well fried, take out the fish with a slotted spoon and drain well on a metal rack, then transfer to a large serving platter.

  8) Remove all oil from the wok except for 2-3 tablespoons, add onions, stir-fry for a few seconds.

  9) Add celery, red & green peppers and pineapple, season with salt and pepper, cook vegetables until just tender but still crunchy.

 10) Add the sweet & sour sauce sauce, cook for 1 minute.

 11) Taste and adjust 'sweet' & 'sour' taste to your liking (add more ketchup, sugar and/or vinegar).

 12) Add corn starch slurry, stirring until the sauce boils and thickens.

 13) Immediately pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with scallion strips and a few strips of Red Bell Pepper.
 14) Serve hot with steamed rice.

Note :

Other whole fish recommended for this recipe are Telapia, Red Snapper, Stripe Bass, Cod, and Stripped Bass. Fish cut into fillets or steaks, at least 1½-inch thick, are also suitable for this dish, so in case you do not want to use  whole fish, you can cook this with fish fillets.

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