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Crispy Branzino with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Crispy Branzino with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is a homage to a similar dish I grew up eating at Susanna Foo’s in Philadelphia. Her mix of Chinese and California cuisine was inspiring and utterly delicious. The crispy fried fish paired with sweet and sour sauce is magical and something ordered until she shut the doors in downtown Philly. Today I paired the fish with broccolini and coconut sticky rice. Buy any small white fleshed fish you can get, I prefer branzino or snapper for this dish.

Crispy Branzino with Sweet and Sour Sauce


  • 2 pound whole branzino (cleaned, gutted and scaled)
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 3 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic (grated)
  • 1 scallion (diced)
  • 1/4 tsp chili paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
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Clean the fish and score every 1/2 inch the length of the filet. Allow the branzino to air dry ~ 20 minutes. Preheat a large heavy bottom pan that can fit the fish with enough oil to allow it to deep fry to 375.Branzino Scored Season the fish with salt and pepper and then coat with corn starch. Branzino Corn StarchPlace into the oil and cook for ~6-8 minutes depending on the size of the fish. BranzinoAllow the fish the rest on a cooling rack once out of the oil.

Add the garlic, ginger and scallion to a medium pan with a touch of canola oil. Once fragrant add the apricot, vinegar, water, soy and chili paste. Reduce the sauce by 1/4 and season with pepper. Sweet and Sour Spoon the sauce over top of the fish and serve immediately.





Kalbi with Wasbi Fried Rice

Kalbi with Wasbi Fried Rice

Walking through Whole Foods the other day they had these delicious looking thick cut boneless short ribs and I couldn’t pass up the chance to make Kalbi. Korean style marinated Kalbi is pretty amazing stuff  as it is, but I decided to pair it with some spicy wasabi fried rice.

The Kalbi Marinade

1/2 cup soy

1/8 cup mirin

1/4 white sugar

1 clove garlic (grated)

1 tps ginger (grated)

2 scallions (diced)

1 tps sesame oil

1/2 small onion (sliced)

Mix everything throughly and set aside. Slice the short rib against the grain thinly and set in the marinade. Allow the meat to marinate at least 30 minutes. Depending on the thickness you can go longer in the marinade. These will get salty the longer they sit.KBmarinade1KBbeefKBbeef2

Wasabi Fried Rice

1 cup cooked and cooled long grain rice

1/3 cup onion (fine dice)

1/2 cup bok choy (large dice and leafs separated from stem)

1/4 scallion (diced)

1 tps wasabi paste

1/2 tsp ginger (grated)

1 tps canola oil

Have everything ready to go before you begin cooking this dish. As with a lot of Chinese style food this is cooked on high heat with minimal cook time. Preheat a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tps of canola oil. When its sizzling, but not smoking add the onion, bok choy stems and ginger. Sauté ~30 seconds.WFR1 Add the rice and wasabi. Mix vigorously then add the bok choy leaves and scallion. WFR3Season with salt and pepper. Sauté another minute and take off the heat.

Take the Kalbi out of the marinade and set a side. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Kalbi MarinadeBrush with canola oil then grill the meat in small batches ~20 seconds a side for medium rare or longer if your beef was cut thicker.KalbiReduce the marinating liquid in a separate pan and sauce over the finished meat.



Chicken Dumplings

Chicken Dumplings

Happy Chinese New Year! I love dumplings in any form. Today I thought I would make them with chicken and slightly healthier then normal.

Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbs grated ginger

2 tbs grated garlic

1 tbs chili paste

1 tbs sugar

1/2 sliced scallions

Combine all the ingredients mixing thoroughly then set the sauce a side in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.CDsauce

Chicken Dumplings

 2 skinless ground chicken breasts

1 tbs grated ginger

1 clove grated garlic

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1.5 tbs soy sauce

1.5 tsp sesame oil

salt and pepper

wonton wrappers

Combine all the ingredients until incorporated in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set this mix aside.CDmixPlace a wonton wrapper flat in the palm of your hand. Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to the center. Then dip a finger in the egg wash, paint all 4 edges with the wash then fold the wonton in half opposite corner to corner. Seal tightly all around. Fold the longer two triangle points together and seal to make the wonton shape.

To cook: preheat a pan medium-high, add 2 tbs of canola oil and then dumplings. Sauté ~ 1 minute then add 1/3 cup of water. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. The bottom should be nice and crispy when done.CDcooking1CDcooking2CDcooking3Dumplings platingCDplating2Dumplings