Give mild fish a serious lick of heat with homemade chile oil and fermented black soy beans. You can serve the fish and vegetables with just a little broth, as shown here, or as a soup.
Featured in: Twice-Cooked Bacon is the Best Kind of Bacon
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 egg whites
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1⁄2 lb. boneless, skinless mahi mahi filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 pieces pieces of cassia bark or cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 whole black cardamom pod
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. chile bean sauce (doubanjiang)
- 2 tbsp. fermented and salted black beans (douchi), rinsed
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1⁄2 cup Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- Roughly chopped cilantro, to garnish
- Sichuan chile oil, to garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk the salt and egg whites until foamy. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth then add the fish to the batter and toss to combine.
Return the large wok to medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in the cassia bark, star anise, and cardamom and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the spices. Add the garlic, scallions, and ginger to the wok and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the chile bean sauce, black beans, and celery and cook 3 minutes longer. Add the Shaoxing wine and 1⁄2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Lift the fish from the batter and add it to the wok, 1 piece at a time, and cook until all the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Divide the fish and aromatics among bowls and drizzle with the chile oil. Garnish with cilantro before serving.