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Sizzling Catfish with Black Bean-Soy Sauce

2 whole catfish - (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs ea) -- cleaned, gutted
24 thin slices peeled fresh ginger (abt 2 oz)
3/4 cup rice flour
1 1/2 cups peanut oil
Black Bean-Soy Sauce -- (see recipe)
1 large tomato -- seeded, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 limes -- cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using knife, make 6 diagonal slits on 1 side of each fish, spacing evenly and cutting to the bone. Insert 1 ginger slice into each slit. Turn fish over. Make 6 diagonal slits on second side of each fish; insert remaining sliced ginger. Sprinkle catfish with enough rice flour to coat on all sides.


Heat 1 1/2 cups peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375 degrees. Gently slide 1 catfish into skillet and fry until golden and almost cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat frying with second catfish.


Bake catfish in oven until cooked through and opaque in center, about 10 minutes. Transfer to platter. Pour Black Bean-Soy Sauce over. Garnish platter with tomato, green onions and lime wedges. Serve immediately.


This recipe yields 4 servings.





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