Crispy Fish Recipe with Asian Flavors

For many anglers, there's nothing like the flavor and texture of a crisp, freshly fried fish. This recipe is easy and quick to prepare, and the dipping sauce — which can be prepared in advance — is a wonderful complement. Any white-fleshed fish works well, the fresher the better. I like this with steamed white rice or Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles, tossed with soy sauce and cilantro.

To serve two. . .

fish of choice, small fillets cut into finger-sized strips, about 12 ounces total

1 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. flour

salt, pepper, dash of cayenne

oil in a deep, heavy pot, 3 to 4 inches deep (or, to sauté, oil in a heavy sauté pan)

» Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

» Lightly dust the fish fillets in the flour-and-cornmeal mixture, and fry in hot oil until just done and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Dipping sauce . . .

6 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. dark soy sauce

1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, minced (or ­substitute a pinch of red pepper flakes)

2 tbsp. lime zest (grated lime peel)

juice of 1/2 lime

1 small knob ginger, peeled and grated fine

1 bud of garlic, peeled and finely minced

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. This can be made well ahead of the fish.

Crispy Fish Recipe with Asian Flavors

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