Fish and chips Chinese-style

No, I am not trying to sell ice to the Eskimos. The famous British fish and chips can do well with a Chinese makeover. Say farewell to the old vinegar bottle, marinate the fish in Chinese rice wine and ginger, and serve the fish and chips with spicy salt and sweet and sour sauce.


90g (3oz) plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
200 ml (6 fl oz) water
2 tsp cooking oil

450g (1 lb) firm white fish fillet, about 2.5cm (1 in) thick


2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp chopped coriander
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Spicy Salt

60g (2 oz) salt
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1/4 tsp white pepper

2 large potatoes, cut into chips/wedges
plain flour
Cooking oil for deep-frying
sweet and sour sauce

First make the batter: combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Gradually add the water; whisk until blended. Whisk in the oil. Let stand for 1½ hours.

Cut the fish into strips about 2.5 cm (1 in) wide. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the fish and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.

To make the spicy salt: in a small frying pan, stir the salt, chilli powder, peppercorns and pepper over medium-high heat, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Whirl in a blender until coarsely ground.

Place the potatoes in a colander and rinse with cold running water; drain. Pat dry with paper towels. in a wok, heat the oil for deep-frying to 190ºC/375ºF. Deep-fry the potatoes, a batch at a time, until tender and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Dust the fish with flour, then dip into the batter; shake to remove the excess. Deep-fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Arrange the fish and chips on a serving platter. Serve with the spicy salt and sweet and sour sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Taken from Martin Yan’s book “Martin Yan’s Invitation to Chinese Cooking” with permission. © Martin Yan. Published by Pavilion Books Limited. ISBN 1-86205-089-9.