One of my FAVORITE dishes at our local ramen restaurant, is Chicken Karaage, which is Japanese fried chicken that has been marinated and lightly battered, and they serve it with a particularly perplexing Japanese Tartar sauce, that has several ingredients in it. I did my best to simulate the tartar sauce, but the secret recipe is a little tough to crack. Since we've been on a vegetarian kick, I thought I'd make this dish at least Pescatarian, so I subbed some locally caught Rock Fish instead of using chicken thighs. The crispy battered fish marinated really well, and paired perfectly with the tartar sauce. ENJOY!
Make some Japanese Tartar Sauce:
- ½ cup Japanese Mayo (Kewpie)
- 2 tsp sweet relish
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp prepared horseradish
- ½ tsp Sriracha chile sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp anchovy paste (Or 2 anchovy fillet, minced)
- 2 tsp capers, chopped
- squeeze of half a lemon, (about 1 tsp)
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, cover and place in fridge for at least 15 min., or make a day ahead.
Next marinate the fish in the Ginger-Soy Marinade:
- 1 Lb rock fish fillets, (Or Catfish or Tilapia fillets) skinned and deboned
- 3 Tbls light soy sauce
- 2 Tbls fresh grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 Tbls Sake or Mirin
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
Cut whichever fish you are using into ½" x 3" strips, mix together the remaining ingredients, and place everything into a zip top back, massage in marinade, seal and place in the fridge for about 10 min. Flip bag over, massage again, and marinate for another 10 min.
Let's fry up some Rock Fish Karaage!
- ½ cup corn starch (Use Potato Starch if you can find it)
- Reserved marinated fish
- deep pot filled halfway with canola oil
- Reserved Japanese Tartar Sauce
- sea salt
Take fish out of the marinade, and shake/rub off any excess liquid. Dredge the fish in the corn starch (or potato starch if using), shaking off any excess corn starch, and let rest on a plate for about 5 min. Meanwhile heat the oil up to 375º F.
When oil is hot, drop about 4 - 5 fillets in at a time, flipping over if necessary, until golden brown and crispy, about 1 ½ min. per side, or 3 min. total. Drain on paper towels, and lightly season with some sea salt or kosher salt. Serve immediately with some Japanese Tartar, or keep warm on cookie rack resting on a baking sheet, placed in a 250º F oven.