DIN­NER, SORTED

An­drea Bur­gener runs pop­u­lar Jo­han­nes­burg restau­rant The Leop­ard. Her fish recipe is per­fect din­ner party fare de­signed to make an en­trance

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - FOOD -

RECIPE CRISP-FRIED FISH WITH PINEAP­PLE AND GRANADILLA CHILLI SAUCE

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

FOR THE SAUCE

1 litre pineap­ple juice

1 cup cider or rice vine­gar

1 cup sugar

1 tot dark rum

1 tbsp gin­ger, sliced

1.5 cups granadilla pulp

2 chill­ies, finely chopped

1 small pineap­ple, cut into wedges

2 sweet pep­pers, cut into thin strips

Salt, to taste

FOR THE FISH

1 large (about 1.5kg) or 2 medium line­fish, descaled only ( fins and tail left on) Hand­ful of coarse salt Corn­flour, for dredg­ing Veg­etable oil, for deep-fry­ing – enough to half fill a wok (in which the fish fits com­fort­ably) Jas­mine rice, to serve

Method Put all the sauce in­gre­di­ents into a pot with enough room for some bub­bling up, and sim­mer away un­til re­duced to a thin syrup. Keep it warm, but there is no need for it to be boil­ing when you ap­ply it to the sh. What is im­por­tant is that the sh is still hot this way, it seems to soak up some of the syrupy sauce, much as a hot koek­sis­ter does.

A wok is the best way to deep-fry a large fish the con­tour holds the thick body of the sh; the head and tail peep out and get less oil, and cook more slowly. If you don't have one, ask the fish-monger to cut the fish into thick steaks so that you re­tain the ben­e­fits of the skin and bones. You can also do this recipe with chunks of fish fil­let, skin on or off. Es­sen­tially, this pro­duces amped up sweet-and-sour fish nuggets. This way, you can deep fry the fish in pretty much any con­tainer. Slash the sh deeply, di­ag­o­nally, on both sides. Ap­ply salt to the fish and leave for 30 min­utes. Wipe all the salt off (rinse it if you need to, then pat dry). Dredge the fish in the corn­flour. To do this, put the corn our into a plas­tic bag with the fish and toss to­gether, then re­mote ex­cess corn­flour; this makes the least mess and uses the least corn our. Deep-fry the fish, turn­ing it over care­fully when you udge it to be half done. When browned on both sides and the flesh is opaque and comes away from the bone at the thickest part, the fish is done. Don't fry it for a sec­ond longer.

Lift it from the oil us­ing a sturdy drainer/lifter, blot with kitchen pa­per, trans­fer to an enor­mous plat­ter and, while still hot, pour the syrupy sauce over it. Serve im­me­di­ately, with plain steamed rice along­side short grain or jas­mine, never par­boiled.

Serves 4

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