- 2 whole fish (about 1½ to 1¾ pounds each), cleaned and scaled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 4 slices lime
- 8 sprigs fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Canola or grapeseed oil
- ⅓ cup chicken or fish stock
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 2 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
- Cooked rice for serving
Rinse and dry the inside of the fish. Using a sharp knife, make 3 small slits in in the flesh of each side of each fish. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out of each fish, rubbing the seasoning into the slits in the flesh. Stuff the cavity of fish with 2 lime slices and 4 cilantro sprigs. Dust the outside of each fish with flour.
Combine stock, soy sauce, lime and orange juices, honey, sesame oil, ginger, chili garlic sauce and scallions. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet to skim-coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil on high until it shimmers. Gently place one fish into the pan. Fry on one side until the skin is crispy and the flesh inside the slits is opaque (4 to 6 minutes). Flip the fish and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes until the skin is crispy and the flesh inside the slits is opaque.
Place the fish on a serving platter and place in the warm oven. Fry the second fish in the same fashion.
Serve fish hot with warm rice and dipping sauce.
Recommended Wine Pairing: Candia Diamond, Poochman Hill Frontenac Gris, Sweet Baby Vineyard Niagara, or Zorvino La Crescent