Ingredients
  • 1 lb cod (or other firm white fish)
  • 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dry sherry, or Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tsp Fresh ginger (scrape off the skin and cut the root into fine match-sticks)
  • 1/2 cup Scallions (sliced)
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 4 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 500 gm (~1 lb) Fresh Asparagus spears. (Choose the thinnest available).
  • 250 ml (~1 cup) Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam)


Method
  1. Place cod (or other fish), light soy sauce, dry sherry, fresh ginger, sliced scallions, egg whites and cornstarch in a blender or food processor and reduce to a paste (it should have the consistency of cookie dough)
  2. If it is not dry enough, add more cornstarch
  3. Heat the oil, to medium, in a wok or other deep, heavy vessel
  4. Take **3 or **4 asparagus spears in one hand and about 2 or 3 tablespoons of fish paste in the other
  5. Wrap the fish paste around the middle of the sheave to bind it together
  6. Drop it into the hot oil and deep fry for about 3 minutes, or until the fish paste is set and just beginning to brown. (Thick spears may take more cooking and you need to test this)
  7. Remove and drain
  8. Repeat cooking three or four sheaves at a time
  9. Combine the remaining fish sauce and chillie paste and drizzle over the cooked sheaves
** If the asparagus is too thick and takes too long to cook, as judged by over-cooking of the fish-paste, then the best way of managing this is to reduce the number of spears in the sheave. This should be optimised for the asparagus spears you have on hand.