Swimming Fish in Sweet-Sour Sauce

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45 minutes 8 Servings Print RecipeEmail Recipe


2poundvery fresh white fleshed, mild tasting fish (such as striped bass, sea bass, or rock cod, cleaned, head and tail intact)
2teaspoonwhite wine
7cupvegetable oil
  sweet-sour sauce
1 egg


Rinse fish well under cold running water, removing any blood or extraneous membranes from cavity. Pat Fish dry with paper toweling.

On each side of fish, from gills to tail, make 4 to 6 evenly spaced slanting slashes approximately parallel to gills, cutting almost to backbone. Combine wine and salt; rub mixture over entire surface of fish.

Heat the 7 cups of oil in 14 inch wok over high heat until deep fry thermometer registers 370°, 15 to 20 minutes. Lower heat to medium or medium-high in order to maintain constant temperature.

While oil is heating, prepare sweet-sour sauce.

When oil is ready, lightly beat egg in small bowl. Beat in the 1 tablespoon oil and the cornstarch until ingredients are well combined. Using fingers, rub batter all over fish, coating both sides and inside slashes well.

Holding fish by tail, which will be slippery from the batter, carefully dip fish in and out of the hot oil 3 or 4 times, in order to “fan” the slashes, then lay fish gently in oil; deep-fry until batter is crispy and fish is just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using to metal spatulas, carefully remove fish to paper toweling to drain.

To serve, place fish carefully, so as not to burn fingers, in and upright “swimming” position on warmed serving platter. Pour part of the hot sweet-sour sauce over fish; past remaining sauce separately. Serve fish immediately.

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