This is a Filipino dish that clearly was influenced by the Chinese. In the Philippines, this becomes a festive dish depending on the kind and size of the of the fish used. I think this is a festive dish judging by the color alone!
Here I used a red snapper about 8 inches long and perfect for 2 people, which nowadays is all that I cook for.
First, season the fish with salt and pepper including the inside of the fish. Chop 1 clove of garlic, quarter size ginger and 1 scallion. Fill the fish cavity with this mixture and stick with a toothpick to prevent from spilling out during cooking. This filling can be skipped. Put 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 t paprika in a plastic bag, put the fish and shake gently until the fish is fully coated. Fry in well heated oil.
What you need for the sauce are the following:
- 1 cup of unsweetened pineapple chunks
- 1/2 c pineapple juice
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced
- 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced
- 1 small carrot, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 tomato, cut in wedges or 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 T catsup, more for color than taste
- 1 T sugar
- 1 whole jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1 T cornstarch or tapioca flour diluted in 1/4 c water to thicken the sauce
The sauce cooks in about 10 minutes. In a pan, with 1/2 T oil, saute the garlic until lightly brown. Add the onion and the rest of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add the pineapple juice and catsup. The vegetables are good when slightly under cooked. Add the cornstarch mixture and let boil to thicken the sauce. Adjust the salt according to taste. Enjoy while the fish is crispy!