Korean Pan-Fried Fish

  • Pancake dipping sauce:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chile flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds, crushed
  • 2 spring onions, very thinly sliced on an angle
  • For the pan-fried fish:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 skinless fish fillets about 120g each
  • Salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
  • 1 small fresh Korean red chile or Fresno chile, thinly sliced on an angle, optional
  • Handful fresh chives, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces, optional

1. For the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds and spring onions. Cover and set aside. Store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.

2. For the fish: Put the flour and beaten egg into separate wide, shallow bowls. Cut each fish fillet crosswise at a slight angle into four or five pieces and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside for about 5 minutes, so the seasonings soak in a bit. Lightly dredge the fish in the flour, tapping off any excess.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Working in batches, coat the fish in the egg, letting any excess drip into the bowl, and then place into the skillet. If desired, press a chile slice and some chives onto each piece. Cook until golden, flipping halfway through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a wire rack or paper-towellined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining fish, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

Transfer the fish to a platter and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

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