If you fillet the fish ahead of time, do it no more than a few hours before serving, and do not dust it with cornstarch or water chestnut powder until you are ready to fry it; otherwise the coating gets soggy. The sauce can be made ahead. Sweet-and-sour sauce is traditional, but a hot spicy one (such as the sauce for Braised Sichuan Fish) or a black bean sauce (like the Lobster Sauce) is excellent, too.
© 1981 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.