Who can resist the crispy texture of fried fish? I know I can’t. Drizzle with a homemade lemon sauce and you’ll have a crowd-pleasing snackable appetizer that is golden on the outside and flaky tender on the inside.
To make (my) life easier, I’m using pre-mixed crispy frying flour. It usually contains wheat flour, rice flour and some other seasonings. Sometimes, they are also labelled as Tempura flour.
As these fish bites are double fried, excess oil from the first fry will be expelled, resulting in a light and crispy batter.
You could use any type of fish that has a firm texture so that they’ll hold during the cooking process and not break apart. Regular choices would be sole, snapper, barramundi or tilapia fillet.
400 to 500 g white fish fillet – cut into even chunks (I’m using sole fish)
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sugar
Few dashes white pepper
1 egg white
1 cup crispy frying flour (or more if needed)
2 cups cooking oil (I’m using soya bean oil)
Lemon sauce –
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
½ cup water
4 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water – mix well
In a large bowl, add in all the ingredients (except the crispy flour) and well gently.
Set aside to marinate for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the lemon sauce by adding all the ingredients (except cornstarch solution) in a small pot and bring to boil.
Taste and adjust the lemon juice or sugar according to your liking. It should have a right balance of tanginess.
Turn down heat to medium and mix the cornstarch and water together.
Pour into the lemon sauce and keep stirring until slightly thicken. It should have a pourable yet viscous consistency.
Spread the crispy flour on a medium tray.
Transfer the fish together with the marinade into the tray.
Coat each fish fillet with the crispy flour.
Heat the oil in a deep pot or pan to 160°C. You could insert a bamboo chopstick to test the temperature. You should see small, gentle bubbles forming around the chopstick.
Add the fish fillet one by one into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pot. If necessary, cook them in a few batches.
Fry the fish without moving them for about 1 minute, until the edges are lightly brown and a crust has formed.
Gently flip the fish over and cook for another 30 seconds.
Transfer onto a plate lined with grease-proof paper and repeat with the rest of the fish.
Once you are done, turn up the heat to about 180°C. You should be large bubbles when you insert a bamboo chopstick.
Add a few pieces of the fish fillet and fry for about 15 seconds. This double-frying method will get rid of excess oil, giving a crispy texture to the fish.
Transfer the fish onto a serving plate. You could drizzle the lemon sauce all over the fish or serve it as a dipping sauce.