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Sweet and Sour Hake

ingredients

serves 4
1 lb (450 g) hake fillet, skinned and cut into 2.5 cm/1 inch cubes
cornflour for coating
oil for deep frying
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped

for the marinade

1 tbsp (15 ml) medium-dry sherry
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped fresh root ginger

for the sauce

1 227 g (8 oz) can pineapple cubes in natural juice
2 level tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) medium-dry sherry
1 tsp (5 ml) malt vinegar
5 ml (1 tsp oil)

method

1. Make the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a shallow dish large enough to hold all the fish cubes in a single layer. Add the fish cubes, cover the dish and marinate for 1-2 hours, stirring several times.

2. Meanwhile make the sauce. Drain the pineapple cubes, reserving the juice in a measuring jug. Make up to 90 ml (6 tbsp) with orange juice or water if necessary. Reserve the pineapple cubes.

3. Put the cornflour in a small saucepan. Add about 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the pineapple juice and mix to a smooth paste, then stir in the remaining pineapple juice, soy sauce, sherry, vinegar and oil. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

4. Drain the fish cubes, discarding the marinade. Spread the cornflour for coating in a shallow bowl, add the fish cubes and shake the bowl until all the cubes are well coated.

5. Put the oil for frying into a deep wide saucepan to a depth of at least 7.5 cm( 3 inches). Heat the oil to 180-190°C (350-375°F) or until a cube of bread added to the oil browns in 30 seconds. If using a deep-fat fryer, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

6. Fry the fish cubes, a few at a time, for 2-3 minutes until evenly browned. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper, transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep hot.

7. Add the reserved pineapple cubes to the sweet and sour sauce and heat through. Pour the sauce over the fish, sprinkle with the chopped green pepper and serve at once.

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