Whole Fish with Ginger
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
- Vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1⁄2 cup Fried Ginger
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Stir cilantro and mint into sauce and spoon over fish. Garnish with fried ginger, and serve immediately.