Sweet and Sour Pickerel

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1 Fresh Pickerel – cleaned and skinned whole (The Chinese Restaurant left the head on for decoration)

¼ cup olive or peanut oil

1 ½ tsp. crushed garlic

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

¼ cup vinegar

1 tsp. ginger

1 cup water

1 heaping tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water

8 -10 button mushrooms – cleaned and cut in half

2 – 3 stalks celery – sliced diagonally in 1 inch slices

10 green onions – white part only

2 fresh tomatoes – cut in wedges.

Bed of fresh cooked white rice seasoned with a little salt and butter.

This is one of those wonderful dishes that I had at a great Chinese food restaurant in Toronto and spent years trying to recreate.  The downside to this recipe is that you have to wait until someone is fortunate enough to catch a pickerel before you can make it

Preheat Oven To: 350

Serves: 4 depending on the size of the fish

Serve With:  White wine or warm sake, Chinese dumplings or Mixed vegetable sauté.

 

Quickly fry the whole pickerel in a little oil and 1 tsp. crushed garlic until the outside starts to turn golden brown.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of the fish) or until the fish is cooked through.  Be careful not to overcook it.

Heat together brown sugar, vinegar, ginger and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add cornstarch/water mixture and bring back to a boil stirring constantly.  Remove from heat as soon as it is thickened.

Lightly fry mushrooms, celery and onions in a little oil and garlic until almost tender.  Add to the sweet and sour mixture and bring it back to a boil.

Mound the rice on a serving platter and place the pickerel on top of the rice.  Add the tomatoes to the sweet and sour mixture and pour over the fish.