Crispy Whole Fish with Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce

This recipe is adaptable to which ever whole fresh fish is available at the market. Serving the fish whole with chopsticks in a communal fashion is always fun, but if your eaters aren’t up for that, you can fillet the fish after cooking, but before serving.
By / Photography By Jennifer Bakos | May 06, 2016

Ingredients

For the Fish
  • 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
For the Sauce
  • 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

Instructions

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

Ingredients

For the Fish
  • 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
For the Sauce
  • 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
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