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Fish 4 Friday: Lent's Here! Time to Get Serious...

This entry is part of a series, F4F 2011»

Whole Fish

Yes, it’s Lent. Goodbye Fat Tuesday…

Wifey says that some of us, including some of y’all out there in Readerland, need to get serious about fish for Friday for the next six weeks. (She also says you know who you are.) Then she gave me The Look, as if to say I should be sure to put some good F4F recipes up each and every Thursday.

At least that was how I understood that particular version of The Look. I could only take the strain for a few milliseconds a short while, so I may have gotten The Message wrong.

In any case, here’s the first Lenten edition of F4F for 2011. For some reason I’ve become intrigued with the contrast between sweet and sour, especially as expressed in Asian dishes. There are actually several variations (more can be sensed by a refined palate), and very few of them actually resemble the sauce you find in most quick packaged meals. (I’m not pointing any fingers. Not really.)

Without further ado, here’s the script:

Here’s the deal. This recipe can be followed to the letter and you’ll get a most tasty, fairly spicy dish. Lower the heat by reducing or eliminating the chile sauce. Add some julienned red chiles into the sauce to increase the flame-tongue factor. You can use pan-fried, deep-fried, steamed or poached whole fish. Or cut fillets of your favorite mild white fish into bite-sized pieces and stir-fry them (carefully, as vigorous stirring will break up the fish bits), then remove the fish, make the sauce and combine. Voila!

You can add a bit of fish sauce to the sweet-sour mix if you enjoy that. I’d say the ingredients to keep fairly “authentic” are the soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar and chile sauce. But hey, it’s your fish! Whichever way you want it, give it a try.

Most Americans are a bit put off by the thought of cooking (and eating) whole fish; but it’s not hard, and it’s very tasty. Consider it your growth plan during Lent. Rather that focus on what you have to give up, look to what you’re learning…

Enjoy the (Asian Lenten Fish) Heat!

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