The dipping sauce is the key to this simple and distinctive way to accent your fish with Asian flavors. Really, any white-fleshed fish–walleye, perch, pike, crappie–will do, the fresher the better. Lightly dust the fish with cornmeal and maybe a little flour, then fry in hot oil until crispy. The fish and sauce go well with steamed white rice or soba noodles tossed with soy sauce and cilantro.

To serve one or two…

6 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

6 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. dark soy sauce

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced (or a pinch of red pepper flakes)

1 lime zest (grated lime peel), about 2 tbsp.

juice of 1/2 lime

1 knob ginger, peeled and grated fine

2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

* Boil the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Cool.
* Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

*Lucia Watson owns Lucia’s, one of the Twin Cities’ favorite restaurants, a cozy place in the Uptown section of Minneapolis (1432 West 31st Street, 612-825-1572). Lucia joins the In-Fisherman staff this season in a few episodes on In-Fisherman Television. She’s as at home cooking outdoors as in a restaurant kitchen. Taste Tempters photography is by one of North America’s finest food photographers, Chuck Nelson, of Nelson Graphic Design, Brainerd, Minnesota.

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