Ginger is a versatile rhizome, adding a welcome warmth to dishes whether used fresh, pickled, preserved, fried, or juiced. Two of these techniques are used in this deliciously pungent dish.
1⁄4 cup ginger juice (see Juicing Ginger)
1⁄2 cup mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
2 tbsp. sake
4 1 1⁄4-lb. whole meaty fish such as ocean perch,
striped bass, or small sea bass
1 cup flour
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh mint
1⁄2 cup Fried Ginger
1. For the sauce, heat ginger juice, mirin, and sake in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry. Sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a shallow pan. Dredge fish in flour mixture, coating well on both sides. Shake off excess. (Don't dredge fish too far in advance; if flour gets soggy, fish will not develop a crispy golden crust when fried.)
3. Heat 2" oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, fry fish until flesh is firm, about 4 minutes per side, turning once. Drain on paper towels. If frying in batches, keep fish warm, uncovered, in a low oven.
4. Stir cilantro and mint into sauce and spoon over fish. Garnish with fried ginger, and serve immediately.