B.C. recipes: Chinese-style Sweet and Sour Wild Pacific Halibut from The Fish Man's Bo Li

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      If you’re a fan of dishes that combine the sweet and savoury, here’s a Chinese dish that has been adapted for B.C. seafood.

      This recipe comes from Bo Li, chef and owner of The Fish Man in Richmond, and Wild Pacific Halibut.

      “This dish originated 120 years ago in Harbin, China,” Li explains. “While the original recipe uses pork slices, we are fortune to be surrounded by the ocean and can therefore add a twist by using our wonderful wild Pacific halibut instead!”

      Although many people may mistakenly believe that halibut season only lasts during the summer months, it actually begins in March and this year, it runs until December 7, according to the Pacific Halibut Management Association of B.C.

      Sweet and Sour Wild Pacific Halibut

      Yield: serves 2


      1 lb wild Pacific halibut fillet, skin on (cut into ½-inch, or 1 cm, slices)
      6 to 8 cups canola oil for frying

      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
      1 tsp white pepper powder
      1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
      1 tsp sesame oil
      1 egg white
      1 tsp ginger juice

      1 cup cornstarch
      150 ml water
      drizzle canola oil

      Sweet and sour sauce
      50 ml Chinese rice vinegar
      100 ml warm water
      6 tbsp sugar
      1 tbsp minced garlic
      1 tbsp soy sauce
      pinch salt
      10 g chopped fresh cilantro (about 1/8 cup)
      10 g finely shredded carrot (about 1/8 cup)
      10 g finely shredded fresh black fungus (about 1/8 cup)


      First cut the wild Pacific halibut fillet into 4-inch (10 cm) thick slices, then 2-inch (5 cm) thin slices and finally 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices.
      Try to cut the fish in single strokes.

      In a medium bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients until well mixed.
      Gently fold the fish slices into the marinade and let sit for 10 minutes.

      To prepare the batter, add the cornstarch and water to a large bowl and hand mix to a wet glue-like consistency.
      Drizzle the oil over the fish to help separate the slices.
      Gently fold the marinated fish into the batter making sure the batter covers most surfaces of fish slices.

      Over a high heat, heat a deep pan until it starts to smoke.
      Add canola oil to the pan and heat to desired temperature. You can test the temperature of the oil by adding one fish slice. It should float up to the top of the oil.
      You can deep fry the fish with long chopsticks. Carefully drop the fish slices into the oil one at a time and in different areas of the pan.
      Cook the fish until both sides are a golden brown colour and the outside layer develops a crispy texture. Keep warm.

      The finally step is creating the marriage between the fish and sauce.
      In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients of the sweet and sour sauce until well combined.
      Over high heat, heat a large, deep skillet until smoking hot, pour the sauce into the pan, and bring to boil.
      Reduce the sauce to half, add the fried fish and toss gently until the sauce completely covers the fish.

      Then...enjoy it while it is hot and crispy!