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Sichuan Fish

1 Whole firm fish eg red snapper; sea bass, grey mullet
300 ml Groundnut oil
1 tb Flour
1 tb Cornflour
2 Cloves garlic; peeled and cut into fine shreds, up to 4
2 1/2 Pieces fresh root ginger; peeled and cut into fine shreds
2 tb Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
3 tb Yellow bean sauce
1 ts Chilli sauce
150 ml Fish stock or water
2 Spring onions; cut into 1cm diagonal slices
2 Fresh red chillies; halved, seeded and cut into fine shreds
1 ts Caster sugar
1 ts Sesame oil


TO GARNISH
A few leaves of fresh coriander 2 Spring onions

Prepare the fish, remove any scales and score both sides with two diagonal cuts towards the bone. Dry the fish well on a cloth or paper. Heat a wok and slowly pour in the oil down the sides. When hot, salt and roll the fish in flour. Put the fish in the oil to fry for about 4 minutes on each side until golden. While the fish is frying, mix the cornflour with 2tbsps of water. Remove and drain the fish on absorbent paper. Pour off the frying oil, leaving about 1 tablespoonful. Add the garlic and ginger, then stir fry for a few moments. Stir in the rice wine, the bean and chilli sauces and soy sauce.

Pour in the stock and the cornflour paste, stir to the boil, replace the fish and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the two spring onions and cut the leaves into shreds, leaving them attached to the white of onion, put into iced water to curl. Remove the fish from the wok, add the sliced spring onion, chillies, sugar and sesame oil, simmer to reduce to a lightly syrupy consistency. Return the fish to the wok, baste with the sauce and heat through.

Serve garnished with the curled, drained spring onions and coriander leaves.




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