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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.





Mussels with Tomato and Chili

Mussels with Tomato and Chili

I love mussels and became addicted to eating them as a child. They are very quick to cook, highly affordable and delicious with any sauce. They pair really well with tomato with just a bit of spice from fresh chili peppers.

2 pounds mussels (cleaned)

4 cloves garlic (finely sliced)

1 leek (1/8 inch dice)

1 serrano chili (seeds removed and sliced)

1 glass white wine

1/2 cup of crushed tomato

4 tbs olive oil

1/3 cup orzo pasta

some bread for dunking

Clean the mussels extremely well and set aside. Slice the garlic, leeks, serrano and crush the tomato. Preheat a large sauce pan over medium-high, add 2 tbs of olive oil, 1/2 the garlic and the leek. Sweat for ~5 minutes then add the mussels. Sauté for a minute then pour in the wine. Cover and let them cook until the mussels have opened.Mussels 1Mussels 2Remove the mussels, and pour the sauce through a strainer into another sauce pan. Reduce the liquid by 1/3 then set aside. Pick the meat from the mussels and toss the shells.MstrainIn a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat add 2 tbs of olive oil, garlic and serrano peppers. Sauté  until aromatic then add the tomatoes. Cook for ~3 minutes and add the mussel cooking liquid then reduce to low.MsauceCook the orzo in separate pot of boiling water. When the sauce has reduced and the pasta is done cooking add the orzo and mussels. Take off the heat, toss and serve immediately.Msauce2Mclose



Scallops with Broccolini

Scallops with Broccolini

Scallops are just a wonderful piece of shellfish that pair well with a lot things. Simply seared with a nice caramelized salty crust is my favorite preparation. Today I’m pairing them with charred broccolini and aged balsamic.

6 scallops

1 bunch broccolini

3 cloves garlic (sliced thin)

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs canola oil

1 tps sherry vinegar

1 tps balsamic vinegar (drizzle over finished scallops)

Take the scallops out at least 30 minutes before cooking. Blanch the broccolini off in salted water for 4 minutes. Drop into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Thinly slice the garlic and set aside. SBblanchPreheat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of olive oil then the broccolini. Season with salt and pepper. After 1 minute add the garlic and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat. SBbrocSBbroc2Place a couple pieces of the broccolini and 1 of the cloves of garlic in a food processor. Start on low and drizzle in 1 tbs of olive oil and then 1 tps of sherry. Season with salt and pepper.SBscallop1Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Preheat a pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tbs of canola oil. Place the scallops in the pan, leaving enough space in between each to get a good sear for 3 minutes. Flip the scallops and take them off the heat. Let them rest 30 seconds then plate.SBscallop2SBfinal