This recipe has two things that I hate – 1. deep-frying and 2. did I already say deep-frying? I guess that’s just one thing. And ok, I guess “hate” is a pretty strong word. Let’s just say I have a lot of feelings about deep-frying, none of which are warm and fuzzy. It’s messy and makes the house smell like fried fish for days.
One of The Husband’s favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant is the Salt & Pepper fish. Recently, we were at a very nice Chinese restaurant up in Massachusetts, and that’s exactly what he ordered. Halfway through our meal, they told us they were out of fish. OUT OF FISH? HOW?! Anyway, I felt bad that he didn’t get his favorite dish, so I decided to make it for him the following Friday despite my strong feelings about frying. If you’re beginning to think that I show my love for my people in the kitchen, you’re right! It turned out to be far less messy and smelly than I had anticipated, and the resulting dish was absolutely scrumptious. I posted pics on Instagram, and I can always tell when you guys are salivating over a particular pic.
So here’s the recipe – I had fun making it again this morning. The Husband said he’d had enough fried food for the month of February but I believe I just heard him down in the kitchen having a secret serving. Do you guys have secret servings at your house? We do all the time. #secretservings
A couple of notes on ingredients – when I made this dish last Friday, I used jalapeños but this time I used bird eye chillies. It all depends on your tastebuds and who you’re cooking for – if you like going up in flames as I do , then by all means go for the bird eye chillies. If not, jalapeños will do nicely. As for the fish – I love flounder, but any firm, white fish will do. Cod works nicely as you can get nice big bite-size chunks. If the filets are too thin, it just doesn’t have the same result. Scroll down for a quick video of the process.
And if you make this recipe, please show me your dish – I love looking at food pics as much as you do! xox
Salt & Pepper Fried Flounder (served 4)
1.5 lb flounder filet (cut in bite-size chunks)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Peanut oil for frying (Canola or vegetable will do as well)
10 cloves of garlic (minced)
5 bird eye chillies (sliced)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, salt and white pepper.
- Add the cut up fish, 1/4 cup of water and mix well. You’ll have a beautiful sticky, gummy mess.
- Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Deep fry the fish pieces, taking care not to over-crowd the pan – about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- In another pan, heat two tablespoons of oil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and sliced chillies. Stir constantly to avoid burning – you’re looking for a deep golden brown without the bitterness of burnt garlic.
- Arrange the first fish on a pretty dish. Sprinkle salt and white pepper on the fried fish, then top with the toasted garlic and chillies. Garnish with some cilantro or sliced scallions.
- Serve with white rice and a side of fresh veggies.