Note to self: Buy an new thermometer. Oh, and maybe spend more than $5.
I’d prepared the fish and started to heat the oil for frying when I noticed the little red line on my thermometer was no longer solid, but dashed.
-– -—- – ——- – –—- – ——- – -––––— ——— – — —— ———- – -––––—––— ———
I remember seeing nurses in movies (television?) shake thermometers to force the mercury down toward the bulb end, so I gave that a try. I took it outside because the thermometer had already been in the oil and I didn’t want to spray the kitchen with oil droplets. I shook it so hard that the little clip thing-y flew off into the garden, not to be found among the Chinese chives, day lilies, and grass… No matter: the line remained dashed.
By the way, that’s not mercury anymore. I remember how much fun it was to play with the slick silver balls of mercury when I was a kid. Apparently,
in the last few years, they
have discovered that mercury is very poisonous, so they
have banned the sale of mercury thermometers.
At any rate, I had (bigger) fish to fry…
One can check the temperature of oil without a thermometer. There are two methods:
Submerge the tips of cooking chopsticks (they are long enough that you won’t burn yourself) in the oil.
Drop a small amount of a flour-water batter into the hot oil.
drops to bottom
drops to bottom
|really large bubbles
will not sink
breaks and scatters
You can use mackerel (as in the original recipe), shrimp, tuna, salmon, or cod.
Fried Ginger-Flavored Salmon
Sake no Tatsuta-age
2 to 3 servings
- 3 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon sake (rice wine)
- 1 Tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 2 Tablespoons minced shiso, preferably, or parsley
- 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 pound salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch-square pieces, skin attached
- ⅓ cup potato starch
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Mixed salad greens
- Shogo amazu (sweet pickled ginger)
In a bowl, combine the shoyu, sake, mirin, shiso, and ginger. Marinate the fish in this mixture for 20 minutes.
Drain the fish, discarding the marinade. Wipe the fish with a paper towel, and lightly coat each piece with potato starch. Let the fish stand for 2 minutes.
Heat 1 ½ inches vegetable oil in a deep skillet to 340°F. (170°C). Fry the fish, several pieces at a time, until they are slightly golden and cooked through. Drain them on a rack.
Serve the fish on top of the salad greens, accompanied by sweet pickled ginger.