Uhu (pronounced like the oo in Yoo-hoo chocolate drink and who) is the Hawaiian word for parrotfish. Its mouth and scales resembles the beak and colorful, patterned feathers of a parrot. This “beak” is what they use to bite chunks off coral to eat coral polyps and then grind up the remaining coral into sand. What is interesting about them is that they can change their sex (they are hermaphrodites) and color–females are red, males are blue and larger in size. It’s difficult to catch them with a hook and line, better with a spear, even easier when night diving because their sleeping. They have large scales that are difficult to scrape off! In general, I scale all my fish outside but with these guys, I can’t see why anyone would want to scale it indoors.
The uhu — hard to catch, hard to scale, but good to eat
What I love about them is their delicious flavor and moist, flaky texture, you really can’t go wrong with versatile and tasty fish. In Hawaii, we love stuffing the uhu with Chinese parsley, lup cheong (Chinese sausage) or Portuguese sausage, onions, green onions, and mayo and then baking it to perfection. In this recipe, I will share a different way of preparing it, one that doesn’t require an oven. The result is a tasty and moist, golden crusted fish with a spicy yet refreshing wasabi sauce.
- 1 medium sized parrotfish (uhu, about 3 pounds), filleted and sliced into 1-2 inch cubes or sticks
- 3 tablespoons fine panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 3 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon oil
- S & P, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
- 1/2 cup somen tsuyu sauce
- 1/4 medium Japanese cucumber (about 3 tablespoons), minced
- Combine S & P and egg.
- In a separate dish combine panko and potato starch.
- Dip and coat fish chunks into egg wash and then coat evenly with panko and potato starch mixture.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry fish chunks until all sides are golden brown.
- Combine wasabi paste, somen tsuyu sauce, and cucumber.
- Wasabi is spicy and pungent. Since everyone's tastes buds are different, go easy on it if it's your first time trying it.
This recipe can be adapted to any firm, white flakey fish. The ingredients can be found in the Asian aisle at your supermarket. If you tried my recipe, what did you think about it?
Thanks for reading!
Amazon (affiliate) links to items used/related products: