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Tempura Fried Opah with Pineapple & Thai Basil Salsa

By Lee Anne Wong From Moveable Feast Season 3, Ep.302

Servings: 4 to 6

If you can’t find opah, you can substitute cod loin or haddock fillet. Furikake is a Japanese dried seasoning that typically consists of dried fish and seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It can be found in most Asian grocery stores.


  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup Japanese white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 to 6 skinless, boneless opah fillets, about 4 oz. each
  • Vegetable oil for frying, about 8 cups
  • 1-1/2 cups tempura flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 Tbs. furikake topping (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup seltzer
  • Pineapple & Thai Basil Salsa, for serving


  • Mix the sake,miso, mirin, and sugar in a shallow baking dish. Add the fish, cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the refrigerator, and marinate for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Remove the fish from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer to a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Pour in the oil and heat on medium high until the temperature registers 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the furikake (if using), and 1/2 tsp. salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg into the vodka, then whisk in the seltzer. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing with the handle of a wooden spoon until just combined. The batter will be lumpy.
  • Blot the excess marinade from the fish with paper towels. Working with 1 piece of fish at a time, dip it in the batter to coat. Transfer to the oil and fry, turning occasionally, until the fish is cooked through and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a rack and lightly salt. Serve the fish with the pineapple salsa.

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