This recipe for sweet and sour fish comes from Eastern China.
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound fish fillets, such as cod, haddock, or sea bass
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons rice vinegar, or red or white wine
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
4 ounces mangetout (snow peas)
1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped diagonally
2 - 4 cups oil for deep-frying
Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry. Cut into 2-inch squares. Add the fish to the marinade ingredients, using your fingers to mix in the ingredients and adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.
While the fish is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, tomato paste, vinegar and sugar. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water.
Blanch the snow peas in boiling water until they turn bright green. Plunge briefly in cold water. Drain thoroughly. Cut the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.
Heat the oil to between 360 and 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the marinated fish cubes. Deep-fry until they are golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Add the ginger and green onion and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the snow peas. Stir fry for a minute and add the red bell peppers.
Push the vegetables up to the sides of the wok and add the sauce in the middle. Bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring to thicken. Serve the fish on a platter, covered with the sweet and sour sauce and vegetables.