Five Spice Ling

Five Spice Ling

The marinade for this five spice ling, aromatic with star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Sichuan pepper, is perfect with almost any seafood or poultry. Chef Mark Jensen from Red Lantern (who taught me how to make it) uses it with quail; I love it with firm-fleshed ling and prawns, squid or even small whole fish such as leatherjacket trunks work well too.

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 1 x 300g piece ling fillet, skin off, pin-boned
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 small Lebanese cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, cut into slivers
  • ¼ bunch watercress
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Fish Sauce (see video below)
  • Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
  • Pickled minced red chilli, for serving

 

Five Spice Marinade

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon castor sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup water
Method
  1. Make Five Spice Marinade: combine all ingredients in a dish large enough to hold the fish.
  2. Cut fish into large bite-sized pieces and place into the Marinade, toss to coat well, cover and set aside for an hour or so.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large saucepan to about 170°C, it’s hot enough when bubbles gradually appear around the handle of a wooden spoon that’s placed into it.
  4. Remove fish from Five Spice Marinade and pat dry.
  5. A few pieces at a time, deep-fry for about 3 minutes or so (depending on the size of the pieces), until well-coloured and just cooked through.
  6. Drain on a paper towel-lined rack.
  7. Meanwhile, arrange watercress, cucumber and onion on one side of a serving platter.
  8. Place fish alongside salad.
  9. Drizzle Sweet Fish Sauce over the salad and serve five spice ling with rice and pickled minced chilli on the side.

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Sweet Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham)

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