Sweet and sour is a widely popular delicacy in so called Chinese cuisine. However, this dish has wide variations across the globe. Some parts of China have their own style of cooking it. On the other side, western countries – Europe and America have evolved their own style which considerably deviates from the Chinese type. Other sides of the world like India, Korea etc. have their own style evolved since years which is sometimes a combination of far east and far west. In a nutshell, “There is no standardized recipe for Sweet and Sour”! The only common baseline is – it should be a bit sweet and a bit sour too. That said, when I thought of cooking Sweet and Sour Fish, I felt free to deviate from all the above styles and derive something new. So, I added a bit hot flavor in it with the same sweet and sour flavors but with an added surprise in its taste. Hope you will like it.
Take fresh Barramundi cut into small boneless cubes weighing 500 gm. In a bowl, take the fish, add 4 tbsp of cornflour, 1 egg white, 1 tsp of light brown sugar and salt. Mix well with hand and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take a whole pineapple and cut into two halves. Take one half and cut out the pulp to form a bowl-like structure with a thin layer of pulp in the inner surface. While cutting out the pulp, take out 2-3 slices first and keep aside. From the remaining pulp extracted, take the juice in a cup and keep aside.
Sauce and spice
In a bowl, take 2 tbsp of tomato sauce, 1 tbsp of light soy sauce, 1 tbsp of fish sauce and 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Mix well and keep aside. Keep 1 tsp of crushed black pepper ready and handy.
Take 1 medium-sized whole onion, cut into petals and keep aside. Keep 2 tbsp of chopped garlic, 1 tsp of chopped ginger, 5-6 red jalapeno cut into slices, handful of chopped spring onion and 5 whole cherry tomato ready and handy.
Procedure and serving
Deep fry the fish pieces until light brown, soak the oil and keep aside. Remove the residual oil and take 3 tbsp of refined oil in wok and heat up. Add the garlic and ginger followed by the crushed black pepper and stir fry. Once aromatic, add the pineapple slices and stir fry again. Then add the jalapeno followed by the cherry tomato. Stir fry until the tomatos become softer and their skin cracks. Now add 8 to 10 of the onion petals and stir fry quickly. Then add the sauce mixture and stir fry. Add most of the spring onion and stir fry quickly. Now add slightly less than half cup of the pineapple juice followed by 5 cups of water mixed with 2 tbsp of cornflour. Mix well and then let the broth thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and sugar. Around 2-3 tbsp of sugar would be needed to remove too much sour taste if caused by the pineapple or its juice. When the taste is optimal and the broth is slightly thickened, remove the wok from heat. Take a serving plate and place the half of the pineapple on it as a bowl. Now put the fried fish pieces inside it. Then take the broth from the wok and pour it over the fish with all the vegetable parts like onion petals, jalapeno, cherry tomato, pineapple slices etc. Garnish with the remining spring onion and serve hot immediately with any mild flavored fried rice or steamed rice.