Wade Ueoka, of Honolulu’s MW Restaurant, is an expert at using the Japanese rice cake called mochi as a coating when frying foods, even Spam. Here, he wraps snapper in shredded mochi before cooking, so it’s simultaneously chewy and crispy.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kudzu or cornstarch
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons yuzu kosho
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
Three 1 1/2- to 2-ounce blocks of mochi, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
1 tablespoon furikake
Six 5-ounce skinless red snapper fillets
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Cooked somen noodles, for serving
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, bring the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and 3 tablespoons of water to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk the kudzu with 1 tablespoon of water, then whisk into the saucepan. Boil over moderately high heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sesame oil, sesame seeds, yuzu kosho and 2 tablespoons of the canola oil; keep warm.
In a bowl, toss the mochi with the furikake. Season the snapper with salt. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the canola oil. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop 3 loose mounds of the mochi mixture into the skillet; flatten them slightly. Set 1 fillet on each mound. Spread another 1/3 cup of the mochi on each fillet. Cook over moderately high heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip the fish and cook until golden and the fish is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil, mochi mixture and fish. Transfer the fish to plates and garnish with scallions. Serve with somen noodles and the sauce.
The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Warm gently before serving.
Pair this dish with a full-bodied Chenin Blanc.
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