Deep-Fried Flounder with Chinese Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

11:00 pm on 27 August 2007

You can substitute sole, snapper, coral trout or red emperor for the flounder.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 12 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms
  • oil, for deep-frying (I use peanut, vegetable or grapeseed)
  • 4 whole flounder, scored on both sides
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1-2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup) oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 6 spring onions, green part only, finely sliced (kept in iced water)
  • lemon wedges (you decide)

Method

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in a couple of cupfuls of hot water for about 10 minutes, then drain (saving the water). Discard the stalks and slice the mushrooms.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a large wok or deep-fat fryer to 185°C - either measure this with a thermometer or drop a cube of bread into the oil: it should brown in about 10 seconds. eason the fish with sea salt and dust lightly with flour. Pop the fish carefully into the hot oil and cook for 5 minutes, or until the flesh is cooked through and the skin is crispy and golden. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper, then put on a plate.

Meanwhile, heat a wok with a touch of oil and cook the garlic, ginger and chilli until fragrant. Add the white spring onion and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the mushrooms, oyster sauce and about 250 ml (9 fl oz / 1 cup) of the mushroom soaking water. Mix the cornflour with 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup) of water, stir in to the sauce and cook for about 2 minutes. If the sauce seems too thick after 2 minutes, stir in some more mushroom water (or tap water) until you like the consistency.

Pour the sauce over the top of the fish and finish with the green spring onions. You could serve with some lemon wedges as well, if you like a bit of acidity.

John Hawkesby’s Wine Suggestions

Riesling

Allan Scott 2006
Waipara Hills 2006
Pegasus Bay 2006
Grosset Polish Hill 2006

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