This dish is a crowd favourite from Lau's Flower Drum days. It's simple to prepare, with no major secrets – just fresh fish, good, clean oil and a delicate batter made with soda water.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 boneless whiting fillets (about 80gm each), cut into 6 pieces
- ½ long red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped, to serve
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced spring onion, to serve
- Seasoned salt (see note) and coriander, to serve
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150 gm (1 cup) self-raising flour
- 50 gm (⅓ cup) potato flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) soda water
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1For batter, add ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine until the consistency of pouring cream, then refrigerate for 10 minutes to rest.
- 2Fill a wok one-third full with oil and heat to 170°C (to test, drop a couple of drops of batter into oil; when they float to the surface, the oil is ready), then in two batches, dip whiting in batter to coat, letting excess run off, then carefully add to oil and deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden (3-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove whiting with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- 3To serve, sprinkle whiting with seasoned salt to taste, and top with chilli, spring onion and coriander.
At Lau's they make a seasoned salt by dry-frying salt and adding house-made fivespice powder to taste. You can also add spices such as black or Sichuan pepper or Chinese five-spice powder to taste.