- For the fish preheat a wok or large deep-sided frying pan. If necessary, trim the fins and scales from the washed and gutted fish. Gently score the flesh through the skin. Dust the fish on both sides and shake of the excess.
- For the sauce peel and thinly slice the ginger. Trim off the tops and tails and thinly slice the spring onions. Add the sliced ginger to the wok with the frying oil and gently fry until lightly coloured. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Add the fish to the pan and leave for 4-5 minutes until coloured on one side. When the fish has crisped, gently turn over.
- While waiting, combine the sugar with the liquids and stir to dissolve. After 2-3 minutes, add the liquid and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Baste the fish frequently with the sauce, adding the sliced spring onions after a further 3-4 minutes. Continue to cook until the flesh easily comes away from the bone, the sauce should have a syrupy consistency.
- Carefully serve the two fish on a plate, being cautious not to turn it over.
Traditionally this dish is served with the head towards the honoured guest. Of the two fish, only one would be consumed on New Years Eve, the other on New Years Day signifying an abundance and prosperity going from one year to another. This would be served as the last dish.
The type of fish is not as important as that it is whole and that there are 2 of them. Be careful not to turn the fish over onto the plate, as the fish symbolises a boat, and this would symbolise the boat capsizing.