10 small white fish (about 12 ounces), cleaned and gutted
1/2 tsp salt
1 scallion, white portion only
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 tbs finely minced ginger
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 tbs Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tps sugar
1/4 tsp ground white peper
about 4 tbs vegetable oil
1. wash the fish in several changes of cold water. cut off heads and tails on the diagonal. rinse fish and thoroughly drain in a colander. gently rub the cavities and the outside of fish with salt.
2. finely mince the scallion and place in small bowl. add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper.
3. heat a skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. add 2 tbs of oil and fish, and cook, undisturbed, 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high heat, letting fish fry until golden brown. using a spatula, carefully turn fish, add 1 or 2 tbs more oil, and reduce heat to medium. fry until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. spoon sauce over fish, reduce heat to low, cover, turn off the heat, and let stand for 1 minute.
4. test fish for doneness by poking the thickest part with a fork or chopstick; flesh should flake. if not, gently warm fish on medium heat until just cooked through. transfer to a platter and garnish with cilantro sprigs. serve immediately