THE CATFISH INSTITUTE
Yield: 24 servings.
as needed, vegetable oil
2 quarts cornstarch
48 lbs. U.S. Farm-raised Catfish (24 whole, skinned, gutted, headed)
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE (3 QUARTS):
11/2 quart red wine vinegar
11/2 cups sweet chili sauce
11/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup Chinese black vinegar
2/3-1cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
11/2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 quart red and yellow bell pepper in 1/2" cubes
3 cups scallion, cut into 1/2" diagonals
PINEAPPLE SALSA (3 CUPS):
3 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
1? cups red bell pepper, minced
1? cups cilantro, fresh, chopped
as needed, salt and ground black pepper
Heat oil in large wok or deep-fat fryer to 350°F. In half hotel pan, place cornstarch. Place catfish in cornstarch and pat on to coat entire fish thickly. Place on sheetpans, cover and chill at least 30 minutes before cooking as directed. (If necessary, recoat with cornstarch before frying.)
To serve: Deep-fry catfish in hot oil, completely submerged, 13-15 minutes or until crispy and cooked through to internal temperature of 145°F. Serve each whole catfish with 1/2 cup Sweet and Sour Sauce and 2 Tbsp. Pineapple Slasa. Sprinkle with extra sliced scallions, if desired.
For sweet and sour sauce: Mix red wine vinegar, chili sauce, sugar, black vinegar and fish sauce; blend and hold. In skillet, heat oils and sautÈ peppers and scallion 1 minute just to heat through. Add vinegar mixture to skillet to deglaze. Bring to a boil. Keep warm. Serve as directed.
For pineapple salsa: In bowl, combine pineapple, pepper, cilatnro and seasonings. Let stand at least 30 minutes before using as directed.
Recipe Provided By: Jackie Chen, Red Light, Chicago.