Fiddley, best done when you have time and concentration to spare.


Cut each fish fillet in half lengthwise along the seam, and flour the fillets. Do all the necessary peeling and chopping; the cucumber, onion, ginger, and lemon peel can be set aside on the same dish. Put peeled garlic clove in garlic press. Measure out the cold water and combine with cornstarch. Measure out the vinegar and combine with soy sauce. Measure out the sugar. Have the salt, pepper, and salt grinder handy.

Heat the 1 tablespoon oil for the sauce. Cook the crushed garlic briefly taking care not to burn it. Add the vinegar mixture and sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved in the vinegar. Add the cornstarch mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Heat until the sauce is bubbling and translucent. Add the cucumber, onion, ginger, and lemon peel. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.

Meanwhile, fry the fish in as many batches as necessary. When the fish is turned over onto its second side, be sure to grind on some salt. Place cooked fillets on paper towels and keep warm in the oven. Serve the fish fillets on a bed of boiled white rice. With a slotted spoon, spoon the sauce over all. Eat with chopsticks.

Serves 2

Beverly Pepper, The Glamour Magazine After Five Cookbook, 1952

Particularly nice with plain steamed green beans.