If you enjoy ordering lemon chicken from your local takeout shop, then you will like this dish. It rather resembles English-style fish fingers-without the lemon sauce, that is! I like to use a good white-fleshed fish; cod is overfished, hence I've used halibut here, but pollack would do just as well. You could even use mackerel if you wished. I like using the Japanese panko breadcrumbs because they have been flavored with honey and are extra crisp, but you could make your own breadcrumbs, of course, using a chunk of stale bread. The dipping sauce is easy to make too.
Recipe courtesy of Ching He-Huang
Japanese-Style Crispy Halibut with Lemon Sauce
20 min
15 min
Serves 2-4 to share
20 min
15 min
Serves 2-4 to share


  • 7 oz halibut fillet, cut into1/2-inch strips 
  • Sea salt and ground white pepper 
  • 3 1/2 oz potato flour or cornstarch 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 oz panko breadcrumbs
  • 21/2 cups peanut oil
  • Dried chili flakes (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to garnish (optional) 
  • 1 tbsp of peeled and gratedfresh ginger 
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry 
  • 7 tbsps of cold vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch


For the Halibut: Season the halibut pieces with salt and white pepper. Put the potato flour or cornstarch, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Dip the halibut pieces into the potato flour or cornstarch, then the egg, and coat in the breadcrumbs. Place a wok over high heat and add all but 1 tbsp of the peanut oil. Heat the oil to 350degreesF, or until a piece of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface. Fry the breaded halibut pieces in the oil for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

For the Sauce: Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat a small wok or saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp of peanut oil. Add the ginger and fry for a few seconds, then add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute or until the sauce has thickened, then remove from the heat. When the fish is cooked, season with dried chili flakes (if using), garnish with lemon wedges, if you like, and serve with the lemon dipping sauce.


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