Sichuan fried fish and potato straws
In Chinese cooking potatoes are often stir-fried and eaten with rice. This easy stir-fry could be considered as a kind of fish and chips, but the similarity doesn't end there. This method is also delicious when the potato straws are deep-fried first into tiny French fries.
Fish 'n' chips Chinese-style: Sichuan fried fish and potato straws. Photo: Adam Liaw
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2 large waxy potatoes (about 600g total)
400g firm white fish, such as ling, snapper or blue-eye, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp potato flour, or cornflour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
5 dried red chillies, seeds removed and sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1. Peel and slice the potatoes into very fine straws or matchsticks. Soak in cold water for 30 minutes and drain well just before cooking.*
2. Combine the fish with one tablespoon of soy sauce and the Shaoxing wine. Set aside for 10 minutes, then toss lightly in the potato flour.
3. Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat and fry the fish for about two minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the wok and set aside. Brush out the wok to remove any burnt flour.
4. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the wok and add the Sichuan peppercorns and chillies, tossing for just a few seconds until fragrant. Add the drained potato and toss the coat in the oil. Add the remaining soy sauce, castor sugar and salt and toss for about four minutes until the potato softens. Add the fish back into the wok and drizzle over the sesame oil, tossing for a further minute.
5. Scatter with spring onions and serve with steamed rice.
* Soaking removes excess starch and stops the potato straws from sticking together and becoming gluggy when they are cooked.