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Black Bass With Green Tea Tempura

Type: Fish
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

  Tempura Batter
1   Egg
1 cup 198g / 7ozClub soda
1 cup 62g / 2.2ozQuick-mixing flour (Wondra)
  Salt - to taste
1   Red bell pepper - roughly chopped (large)
2   Long green chiles - stemmed, seeded,
  And roughly chopped
3 tablespoons 45mlSugar
1/2 cup 118mlWhite vinegar
3   Garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons 22mlFish sauce
1/3 cup 78mlHoney
  Juice of 1-1/2 limes
1 cup 237mlCubed fresh pineapple
1   Ginger root - (1" long) - peeled, chopped
1/4 cup 82g / 2.9ozElderflower syrup
  = (found at Asian and specialty markets)
1/4 cup 59mlRed wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon 7.5mlSalt
  Oil - for frying
6   Skinless black sea bass filets - - (5 oz ea)
  = (striped bass may be substituted)
  Fleur de sel - to taste
  Freshly-ground white pepper - to taste
6 tablespoons 90mlToasted pine nuts - coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons 30mlThinly sliced ginger root - in matchsticks
  Matcha (green tea powder) - for garnish
  = (found at Asian and specialty markets)

Recipe Instructions

For the Tempura Batter: Combine the egg, club soda and flour and whisk just until incorporated (do not over-mix). Season with salt to taste. Store the tempura batter in the refrigerator until cold and ready to use.

For the Sauce: Combine the pepper, chiles, sugar, white vinegar, garlic and fish sauce in a blender until minced but not pureed. Add the honey and lime juice. Mix well. Add the pineapple, ginger, elderflower syrup, red wine vinegar and salt. Puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing on the ingredients with the back of a spoon, into a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to about 2 cups, about 25 minutes. Keep warm.

For Assembly: Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a 10-inch skillet to 350 degrees.

Season the filets with fleur de sel and white pepper to taste. Dip one side of each filet in the tempura batter. Working in 2 batches, fry the fish tempura-side down until golden brown, 2 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet and place tempura-side up.

Fry the second batch, adding more oil if needed, and place on the baking sheet. Bake until the center of the fish is opaque, about 3 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle the pine nuts and ginger on each of 6 plates. Set the filets on top, then ladle the sauce around the fish and sprinkle with green tea powder.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Each serving: 526 calories; 471 mg. sodium; 155 mg. cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 60 grams carbohydrates; 33 grams protein; 2 grams fiber.

The Los Angeles Times, 03-19-2003


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